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Pathological Russophobia
and sociopathic Carthago delenda est
(Carthage must be destroyed)
attitude of the US elite toward Russia

Who Rules America > Neoconservatism >
News Demonization of Putin Recommended Links British roots of US Rusoophobia Cold War II Perfidious Albion
Peak Cheap Energy and Temporary Oil Price Slump USA-Russia Gas War North Stream South Stream Zugzwang for Ukraine Russian Diplomacy
Fake News scare and US NeoMcCartyism False flag poisonings Skripal poisoning Litvinenko poisoning History of American False Flag Operations DNC and Podesta emails leak: blaming Vladimir Putin
Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA Nulandgate Anti-Russian hysteria in connection with DNC leak Putin-did-it fiasco Russian Ukrainian Gas Wars The Rape of Russia
British poisoning false flags MSM Sochi Bashing Rampage Great Plunder of Russia after the dissolution of the USSR Obama: a yet another Neocon Professor Steven Cohen Putin stands up to US and G8 warmongers on Syria
Hillary role in Syria bloodbath Fifth Column of Neoliberal Globalization  Comprador vs. national bourgeoisie Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism Diplomacy by deception Net hamsters
Neoliberal Compradors Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism Khodorkovsky case Boris Berezovsky Magnitsky case Navalny's Saga
Neoliberal Brainwashing: Journalism In the Service of the Powerful Few The Guardian Slips Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment America and the Imperial Project Demonization of Putin Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair Nemtsov assassination
Color revolutions The Rape of Russia, Testimony of Anne Williamson Before the House Banking Committee Russian Color Revolution of 2012 From EuroMaidan to EuroAnschluss Who Shot down Malaysian flight MH17? Suppression of Russian language and culture in Ukraine
Miraculous metamorphosis of Russian crooks on crossing Western border Comprador vs. national bourgeoisie America and the Imperial Project Most important anti-Russian propaganda campaigns The Deep State Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners"
Russian foreign policy Anatol Leiven on American Messianism Pussi Riot Provocation American Exceptionalism "Fight with Corruption" as a smoke screen for neoliberal penetration into host countries Brain Drain
Soft propaganda The Real War on Reality Economics of Peak Energy Russophobic quotes from famous Russian Liberasts Humor Etc


Introduction

The current US policy of simultaneously antagonizing both China and Russia
 will likely go down as one of the 21st century's more significant strategic miscalculations.
Assuming of course that it is a part of some strategy and not just bumbling incompetence.
Is Russia Being Driven Into the Arms of China

This page is written in hope to help Russian language students to understand the country they are studying despite the level of brainwashing typical for MSM in the West. My own views on the problem were  influenced by Professor  Stephen F. Cohen

Russophobia is not actually only about Russia. It is form of social control of US population. Energy scapegoating is an important part of Propaganda machine, especially war propaganda.  Brainwashing people this way artificially (and temporary) increases social cohesion (as any enemy would) and is practiced when the elite experience difficulties now in 2016. That's why McCarthyism was dusted off and launched into mainstream.  Overextending this trick has negative consequences as Soviet Politburo discovered in starting from 70th.  But with the crisis of neoliberalism (2008  and then defeat of Hillary Clinton in 2016 are two stages of the same process) reinventing "Red Scare" again became principally important, as a vital tool of controlling US (and in general, Western) population.

It is also important to understand that Russophobia in many Western countries and first of all in the USA, is an official policy. Much like in Carthago delenda est (Carthage must be destroyed) was during certain period official policy in Rome.

American elite like Roman elite before need an enemy to unite nation as well as a smoke screen that hides their own corruption. Russophibia definitely helps to suppress internal discontent caused by growing inequality, unemployment, shrinking of the middle class and justifies the conversion of the country into National Security State after Islamic threat became less potent.   The mass production of faux news demonizing Russians invokes depictions of Orwell's nefarious Eurasians from whom the populace needed Big Brother for protection. Reincarnation of Ministry of Truth by Barack Obama is just another stage of the same process -- now like Soviet Politburo, the US government is afraid that the US people will be informed about the real events in the world.  And that like BBC and Voice of America in the past were used by Soviet population, at least some segments of Us population started using RT the same way -- to understand where MSM lie to them. 

In a similar vain, in the current international situation, I would consider Russophobia to be some kind of Freudian projection, a politically correct way of replacing  anti-Semitism. King of subconscious substitution of Jews to a different, "more acceptable" (aka politically correct)  nationality, with all related consequences and moral repercussions that entail this equivalency.  There is tragic irony here as Russians in the past were guilty of anti-Semitism (like most European nations).  Now they probably might understand better what it means to be  the target of anti-Semitism.  As Arkadiy Rukh observed (cited from dr-piliulkin.livejournal.com ):

"Today, in the era of the total political correctness in the Western world there is only one object for unpunished hatred, for realization of the inevitable phobias and other psychopathologies. This is Russia. Today Russians occupy in the world that niche, which for many centuries was occupied by the Jews: the object instinctive, illogical, animal hatred."

While in many respects Russophobia as a social phenomenon is somewhat similar to anti-Semitism it is also a natural by-product of American Exeptionalism as Russia refuses to accept the role of vassal that the US elite designated to them after the collapse of the USSR (the role which was temporary successfully implemented under drunk Yeltsin) . In this sense if it a condemnation of the revolt against "inevitable" in the eyes of the US elite world order --  the global neoliberal empire led by the USA.  That also explains the level of bitterness involved. Russophobia became so fashionable in Western neoliberal MSM when Russia under Putin became an obstacle on the creation of the global, dominated by the USA neoliberal empire. That resistance to "neoliberal project" (although weak and inconsistent -- under Putin Russia became a member of WTO and Medvedev in general is a 'soft" neoliberal, almost a pro-Western comprador) also generates considerable amount of hate.  Pages of European and American newspapers and their comments columns, are packed with expressions such as

and other similar cliché that clearly remind German propaganda against Jews. This anti-Russian hysteria also helps to erase Snowden revelations from Western collective memory.

In other words the hatred of Russia  now is "a new normal" for the US neoliberal establishment and controlled by this establishment MSM.  How and for what reasons did this happen? The first thing to understand is that this is not a new phenomenon. British elite were adamantly Russophobic for a long time, several centuries:

The historian J. H. Gleason, in his 1950 book The Genesis of Russophobia in Great Britain, characterized the nineteenth-century English public’s “antipathy toward Russia” as the “most pronounced and enduring element in the national outlook on the world abroad.”

The sentiment, Gleason concluded, was concocted by a manipulative, imperial-minded elite—and was off base, anyway, since Britain’s foreign policy was actually “more provocative than Russia’s” in this period. Others concur. “The world champion imperialists of modern history, the British, were in a permanent state of hysteria about the chimera of Russia advancing over the Himalayas to India,”

While observations of Arkadiy Rukh are, in my opinion, absolutely correct (the article I cited above is pretty interesting too and contains a valuable discussion) I would add a more recent neoliberal edge of this problem (The Vineyard of the Saker):

The historical roots of the Russophobia of the American elites

Having said all of the above, its actually pretty simple to understand why Russia in general, and Putin in particular, elicits such a deep hatred from the Western plutocracy: having convinced themselves that they won the Cold War they are now facing the double disappointment of a rapidly recovering Russia and a Western economic and political decline turning into what seems to be a slow and painful agony.

In their bitterness and spite, Western leaders overlook the fact that Russia has nothing to do with the West's current problems. Quite to the contrary, in fact: the main impact the collapse of the Soviet Union on the US-run international economic system was to prolong its existence by creating a new demand for US dollars in Eastern Europe and Russia (some economists - such as Nikolai Starikov - estimate that the collapse of the USSR gave an extra 10+ years of life to the US dollar).

In the past, Russia has been the historical arch-enemy of the British Empire. As for Jews - they have always harbored many grievances towards pre-revolutionary Tsarist Russia. The Revolution of 1917 brought a great deal of hope for many East-European Jews, but it was short lived as Stalin defeated Trotsky and the Communist Party was purged from many of its Jewish members. Over and over again Russia has played a tragic role in the history of the Ashkenazi Jews and this, of course, has left a deep mark on the worldview of the Neocons who are all deeply Russophobic, even today. Somebody might object that many Jews are deeply grateful for the Soviet Army's liberation of Jews from the Nazi concentration camps or for the fact that the Soviet Union was the first country to recognize Israel. But in both cases, the country which is credited with these actions is the Soviet Union and not Russia which most Ashkenazi Jews still typically associate anti-Jewish policies and values.

It is thus not surprising that both the Anglo and the Jewish elites in the US would harbor an almost instinctive dislike for, and fear of, Russia, especially one perceived as resurgent or anti-American. And the fact is that they are not wrong in this perception: Russia is most definitely resurgent, and the vast majority of the Russian public opinion is vehemently anti-American, at least if by "America" we refer to the civilizational model or economic system.

... ... ...

Considering the never ending barrage of anti-Russian propaganda in the western corporate media one could wonder how strong anti-Russian feelings are in the West. This is really hard to measure objectively, but as somebody born in Western Europe and who has lived a total of 15 years in the USA I would say that anti-Russian sentiment in the West is very rare, almost non-existent. In the USA there have always been strong anti-Communist feelings - there still are today - but somehow most Americans do make the difference between a political ideology that they don't really understand, but that they dislike anyway, and the people which in the past used to be associated with it.

US *politicians*, of course, mostly hate Russia, but most Americans seem to harbor very little bad feelings or apprehension about Russia or the Russian people. I explain that by a combination of factors.

First, since more and more people in the West realize that they are not living in a democracy, but in a plutocracy of the 1%, they tend to take the official propaganda line with more than a grain of salt (which, by the way, is exactly what was happening to most Soviet people in the 1980s). Furthermore, more and more people in the West who oppose the plutocratic imperial order which impoverishes and disenfranchises them into corporate serfs are quite sympathetic to Russia and Putin for "standing up to the bastards in Washington". But even more fundamentally, there is the fact that in a bizarre twist of history Russia today stands for the values of the West of yesterday: international law, pluralism, freedom of speech, social rights, anti-imperialism, opposition to intervention inside sovereign states, rejection of wars as a means to settle disputes, etc.

In the case of the war in Syria, Russia's absolutely consistent stance in defense of international law has impressed many people in the USA and Europe and one can hear more and more praise for Putin from people who in the past has deep suspicions about him.

Russia, of course, is hardly a utopia or some kind of perfect society, far from it, but it has taken the fundamental decision to become a *normal* country, as opposed to being a global empire, and any normal country will agree to uphold the principles of the "West of yesterday", not only Russia. In fact, Russia is very un-exceptional in its pragmatic realization that to uphold these principles is not a matter of naive idealism, but a sound realistic policy goal. People in the West are told by their rulers and the corporate media that Putin in an evil ex-KGB dictator who is a danger for the US and its allies, but as soon as these people actually read or listen to what Putin actually says they find themselves in a great deal of agreement with him.

In another funny twist of history, while the Soviet population used to turn to the BBC, Voice of America or Radio Liberty for news and information, more and more people in the West are turning to Russia Today, Press TV, or Telesur to get their information. Hence the panicked reaction of Walter Isaacson, Chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, the US outfit overseeing US media directed at foreign audiences, who declared that "we can't allow ourselves to be out-communicated by our enemies. You've got Russia Today, Iran's Press TV, Venezuela's TeleSUR, and of course, China is launching an international broadcasting 24-hour news channel with correspondents around the world". Folks like Isaacson know that they are slowly but surely loosing the informational battle for the control of the minds of the general public.

And now, with the entire Snowden affair, Russia is becoming the safe harbor for those political activists who are fleeing Uncle Sam's wrath. A quick search on the Internet will show you that more and more people are referring to Putin as the "leader of the Free World" while other are collecting signatures to have Obama give his Nobel Prize to Putin. Truly, for those like myself who have actually fought against the Soviet system it is absolutely amazing to see the 180 degree turn the world has taken since the 1980s.

Western elites - still stuck in the Cold War

If the world has radically changed in the last 20 years, the Western elites did not. Faced with a very frustrating reality they are desperately trying to re-fight the Cold War with the hope of re-winning it again. Hence the never ending cycle of Russia-bashing campaigns I mentioned at the beginning of this post. They try to re-brand Russia as the new Soviet Union, with oppressed minorities, jailed or murdered dissidents, little or no freedom of speech, a monolithic state controlled media and an all seeing security apparatus overseeing it all. The problem, of course, is that they are 20 years late and that these accusations don't stick very well with the western public opinion and get exactly *zero* traction inside Russia. In fact, every attempt at interfering inside Russian political affairs has been so inept and clumsy that it backfired every single time. From the absolutely futile attempts of the West to organize a color-coded revolution in the streets of Moscow to the totally counter-productive attempts to create some kind of crisis around homosexual human rights in Russia - every step taken by the western propaganda machine has only strengthened Vladimir Putin and his the "Eurasian Sovereignists" at the expense of the "Atlantic Integrationist" faction inside the Kremlin.

There was a deep and poignant symbolism in the latest meeting of the 21 APEC countries in Bali. Obama had to cancel his trip because of the US budget crisis while Putin was treated to a musically horrible but politically deeply significant rendition of "Happy birthday to you!" by a spontaneous choir composed of the leaders of the Pacific Rim countries. I can just imagine the rage of the White House when they saw "their" Pacific allies serenading Putin for his birthday!

... ... ...

On one side we have the 1%, the Anglo imperialists and the Ziocons, while on the other we have the rest of the planet, including potentially 99% of the American people. If it is true that at this moment in time Putin and his Eurasian Sovereignists are the most powerful and best organized faction of the worldwide resistance to the Empire, they are far from being central, or even less so, crucial, to it. Yes, Russia can, and will, play its role, but only as a normal country amongst many other normal countries, some small and economically weak like Ecuador, other huge and powerful like China. But even small Ecuador was "big enough" to grand refuge to Julian Assange while China seems to have asked Snowden to please leave. So Ecuador is not that small after all?

It would be naive to hope that this "de-imperialization" process of the USA could happen without violence. The French and British Empires collapsed against the bloody backdrop of WWII, while did the Nazi and Japanese Empires were crushed under a carpet of bombs. The Soviet Empire collapsed with comparatively less victims, and most of the violence which did take place during that process happened on the Soviet periphery. In Russia itself, the number of death of the mini civil war of 1993 was counted in the thousands and not in the millions. And by God's great mercy, not a single nuclear weapon was detonated anywhere.

So what will likely happen when the US-Ziocon Empire finally collapses under its own weight? Nobody can tell for sure, but we can at least hope that just as no major force appeared to rescue the Soviet Empire in 1991-1993, no major force will attempt to save the US Empire either. As David Rovic's puts it so well, the big weakness of the 1% which rule the US-Ziocon Empire is that "they are a tiny minority and we are everywhere".

In the past 20 years the US and Russia have followed diametrically opposed courses and their roles appears to have been reversed. That "pas de deux" is coming to some kind of end now. Objective circumstances have now again placed these two countries in opposition to each other, but this is solely due to the nature of the regime in Washington DC. Russian leaders could repeat the words of the English rapper Lowkey and declare "I'm not anti-America, America is anti-me!" and they could potentially be joined by 99% of Americans who, whether they already realize it or not, are also the victims of the US-Ziocon Empire.

In the meantime, the barrage of anti-Russian propaganda campaigns will continue unabated simply because this seems to have become a form of psychotherapy for a panicked and clueless western plutocracy. And just as in all the previous cases, this propaganda campaign will have no effect at all.

It is my hope that next time we hear about whatever comes next after the current "Greenpeace" campaign you will keep all this in mind.

The Saker

The USA and Russian should be strategic partners

During the "cold War" the "old" US elite behaved more or less reasonable and tried to avoid unnecessary confrontation. Several moments were clear exception (Korea War, Cuban crisis, Vietnam war and support of radical political Islam in Afghanistan), but all-in-all it was kind of policy of "peaceful coexistence" (live and give other chance to live), not of an outright "all out" confrontation. Intelligence agencies behaves more provocatively, especially CIA in Europe, which organized and trained Nazi collaborators for the resistance to the possible Soviet invasion, and subsequent guerilla movement against Soviet occupation.

Also in case of JFK assassination, the patsy was chosen in a way that makes it easy to implicate Russia.

but those were exception, rather then the rule.  Probably the memory of the WWII still played some role in such restrain. But eventually a new generation of US elite, the elite did not have WWII experience come to power.

This  new US elite tried hard to colonize Russia instead of making it a valuable partner after dissolution of the USSR. Bill Clinton and Larry Summers are two good example of this behaviour. This adventurism backfired.  This was probably the first blunder, the blunder make by Clinton administration -- the first administration with a lot of neocons onboard (we all remember unforgettable female neocon Madeleine Albright). 

Subsequent administration also demonstrated strong neocon influence (actually neocons, such as Paul Wolfowitz dominated Bush II administration foreign policy)  and due to it made several strategic blunders such as invasions in Iraq, Afghanistan  and Libya.  And that despite the fact the Russia provided great help in Afghan operation, as it essentially controlled (and armed) the North Alliance against Taliban. 

Obama administration essentially continued Bush II foreign policy without major changes. The only change was that is did was more double-dealing. It did get Russia into a trap, when Medvedev government abstain in UN Security council votes for Libyan resolution (which was a disguised justification of NATO military intervention), which opened the way to the occupation of Libya and killing of colonel Kaddafi ("We came, we saw, he died").  Obama administration also masterfully played Iran card against Russia, crashing oil prices three times (from $120 to $30) from the second half of 2014 to January 2016 and keeping oil prices below $50 per barrel (on average) all 2016 (Russia needs approximately $50-$55 to balance the state budget).

It also outplayed Russia in Ukraine tuning this county into nationalistic enclave extremely hostile to Russia (see "Fuck the EU": neocons show EU its real place ). And then to add insult to injury introduced sanctions against Russia. Obama might be not a great president, but he for sure is one of the greatest hypocrites in world history.

But those attacks as well as a clear attempt to encircle Russia in Europe backfired: if you pursue containment of China and at the same time introduce sanctions against Russia it is only natural that these countries will become closer political partners. From the point of view of traditional American and any other political logic, actions that contribute to the rapprochement between Moscow and Beijing, are, to put it mildly, unwise.  And that what Obama administration archived. This is the main legacy of Obama administration in foreign policy.

Russian elite for too long was trying to please the Western colleagues. They swallowed completely unacceptable things. They resigned to NATO expansion. Even after the bombing of Yugoslavia, which was  a clear violation of international law, they still viewed the USA a friendly nation and hoped for the best. Another problem was that Russia was too weak at the moment, kind of semi-colony of the USA (and Yeltsin regime was clearly a comprador regime, no question about it).  But at this point attitude to the USA start changing to negative.  After Ukrainian coup d'état of February 2014 (Maydan Revolution, as it is called in the West) this change only accelerated. In other words huge amount of political goodwill that existed in Russia after dissolution of the USSR was completely squandered in less then 30 years.   That's an amazing art of making enemies from friends. 

But at the end of Obama administration Russia just stopped to trust the USA. At all. They view Obama as treacherous and extremely dangerous imperialist, who will not stop at anything by promoting the Us domination.  That means that they now view the USA as a geopolitical gangster, which is violating any laws in impunity using classic "might makes right" principle. That's a dangerous view and dangerous situation for the USA.  This is another geopolitical blunder of the US elite.

I never was a Russian citizen, but I was and still am interested in Russian politics and, especially, culture. I think that it is a European culture in its essence. Very interesting and very rich. Which was able to survive years of Soviet rule. So attempt of isolate Russia from Europe attempted by Obama neocons (see Nulandgate), following classic "device and conquer strategy of British Empire, might be a mistake.

Neocons defined Russia as the main threat. In other words deterrence of Moscow became the strategic goal of the USA foreign policy, which is essentially a neocon foreign policy, the policy of obtaining and maintaining the world domination at all costs.  That means that the efforts to explicitly shape the USA public opinion to see Russia as the key geopolitical enemy are dictated by priorities of the USA foreign policy, which is defined by neocons.

The role of skepticism

My negative attitude to distortions and clearly orchestrated by White house  anti-Russian campaign in the USA press reflects my natural skepticism. I am not content with typical coverage of Russia in the USA press which reminds me the caricature on the USA coverage by Soviet press (which at the time had higher standard of living the people of the USSR and low level of unemployment).  I consider hysteric Russophobia that is now practiced  to be simplistic and counterproductive policy which serves to promote equally shortsighted global imperial policy that benefits only the US financial oligarchy. Policy that has considerable cold-war inertia and that is damaging to the USA long term interests. Most journalists are simply behave like paid attack dogs (a good example here is Mr. Wallace: his interview of Putin was an insult to the American people; Wallace actually tried to lecture Vladimir Putin).

Here I collected some of the authors who try to see more long term approach and try to present their own understanding of the complex problems related to previous US attempt to colonize Russia after the dissolution of the USSR.  Or at least advice a more realistic US foreign policy toward Russia. Of course it is nice to squash the old geo-political enemy like a bug and I would be the first to admit that under Yeltsin West came close to this scenario. Criminal privatization of Russian companies was hugely successful attempt to put an end to the Russia as an independent country. Similar strategy was by-and-large successful in other USSR republics like Ukraine, Georgia and especially Baltic countries creating what can be called New Latin America.

But after Putin came to power, the attempts to convert Russia into yet another Latin American country became gradually reversed (although this process is some areas went too far and to reverse it completely is very difficult). As Ira Straus aptly put it in her letter Russia, U.S. Media:

Nowadays attacking Russia has a politically correct tinge to it, since Russia is a white Christian country. By contrast, attacking China still suffers from being susceptible to counter-charges of racism and anti-Communism. Perhaps this is the source of the strange double standard in which Russia is attacked just about any day for just about anything while China is virtually ignored day after day, month after month for the same and far worse.

Attacking Russia is especially "correct" when it is a matter attacking a Republican Administration for being soft on a Russia that is beating up on Muslims. One doubts that much of the American public shares the media's sensibilities on this. Picture bubba listening as Dan Rather launches into Russia for beating up on Muslim Chechens; he'll probably be telling himself, "there the liberal media go again, standing up for our enemies and blaming our allies the Russians for fighting back". Among Americans who write about politics, only Pat Buchanan and Ann Coulter dare to say such things, but many more think it, in whole or in part.

The importance of adversarial culture for the media can be seen from the Bush I administration, which truly was anti-Russian. The media bashed Bush I for this; it became ambivalent on Russia, taking on a more pro-Russian hue than any time before or since. As soon as Clinton got a pro-Russian reputation, the media switched back to Russia-bashing mode. It was Clinton-bashing that was the real point.

In other words, the media should not be taken as a barometer of U.S. government policies on Russia. It is more often an indicator of the opposite.

What does it matter? A lot. The media drumbeat against Russia has an enormous impact on public policy, not only in the US but in every Western country, and in Russia itself. It makes it hard to think clearly, or even to see clearly. It fosters and fans conflict. It promotes a tit for every tat.

First, the effects on Russians. The media play an enormous role in convincing them that we're an enemy. They can see CNN, BBC and other Western media daily, at length; they hear from our government only rarely, and practically never from the American people. They can see the Western media's implicit premises far more clearly than the media themselves do. Mistakenly assuming these premises to represent Western policy, they draw what would be the logical conclusion: that we are their enemy. If Russia does in turn become an enemy again, the media will have been a major cause of it.

Second, effects on Western policy-making are just as damaging. Instead of helping the Western governments do their thinking, the media block out most of the space for it. They make it harder for the West to think out loud about such matters as how to build active alliance relations with Russia, or how to overcome the remaining Cold War standoffs. They make it harder to follow a steady course where cooperation has been agreed, They have done much to cause the West to be an unreliable partner for Russia, an unreliability that democrats in Russia noted with profound regret throughout the 1990s. They prioritize conflicting interests over shared interests, encouraging every minor divergence of interest to grow into a major opposition. Their audience ratings flourish on conflict; and no longer fearing it as risking war or nuclear incineration, they promote it shamelessly.

If we end up with a new Cold War -- and the risk is becoming a real one -- it won't be a small thing. It would mean a nuclear superpower once again ranged against us and the world plunged back into a bipolar disorder, only in more unstable conditions. In that case, the media will no doubt turn around and denounce as "reckless" those who carry out their painful duties in the conflict. The truly reckless ones, however, will have been those in this era who so freely did so much to bring it on.

My personal views are close to views expressed by Anatoly Karlin in About Da Russophile

As regards Russian politics, I make no secret that I’m a pro-Putin conservative. That said, my views are moderate – while Western media coverage of Russia may be woefully biased and frequently malicious, there are certainly plenty of things to criticize about Russia and Russians.

However, they must be grounded in in statistics, an appreciation of the viewpoints of ordinary Russians, and a judicious comparative perspective (which is NOT equivalent to "moral relativism" or "whataboutism" as many of the more hardcore Russophobe propagandists claim).

I think that the Western MSM fails on all three counts:

This blog concerns with calling them out on their lies. As the one-time Guardian chief editor C.P. Scott once said, "Comment is free but facts are sacred." While his newspaper has retreated from this vision in practice, I maintain that it’s the most elegant encapsulation of what real journalism (and punditry, blogging, etc) should all be about.

...I consider Charles de Gaulle to have done a great job, and consider Putin to be a comparable figure in vision and stature.

Russians are coming: War hysteria as classic Adorno

Outside obvious "Lebensraum" motives, it looks like western hate towards Russia rests on some deep inadequacy syndrome. Russia is supposed to be some has-been power that is now of no consequence, yet it gets way more attention than such a worthless state would merit. The amount of negative coverage since Sochi Olympics is bordering on war hysteria. That's dangerous pass as ideas became material things when they penetrate deep into conscience of nation. Hate eventually tends to materialize.

The amount of negative coverage since Sochi Olympics is bordering on war hysteria. That's dangerous pass as ideas became material things when they penetrate deep into conscience of nation. Hate eventually tends to materialize.

Russophobia as persistent policy of the US government and US media. And all this talk about Russia aggressiveness, and carefully orchestrated related war hysteria in MSM is pure projection. It is the USA which is the most aggressive international player on the world stage.

Russophobia is the unofficial but persistent set of behavioral patterns of the US government and US media. It is clear that US tried to weaken and possibly dismember Russia out of geopolitical considerations which represents a real threat to the US world hegemony. This idea on which the US elite is hell bent since end of WWII and there were even plans to bomb Russia just after end of WWII.

It is the only military power that can annihilate large part of the continental USA, But there is something deeper here. It is also an attempt to unify nation, which under neoliberalism became much less coherent whole and in which 99% of the population hates the top 1% and the level of this hate is increasing, especially in minorities and inner cities.

Russophobia is a crucial part of the US foreign policy. In this respect the US foreign policy is so messianic that it reminds me Soviet foreign policy (with the substitution of "triumph of democracy" for "triumph of communism") and I wonder if the USSR really was a defeated party in the Cold War. This mentality of "export of revolution" is the integral part of mentality of the US elite. The difference with Trotskyism, if exists, is minor, and the key difference between Trotskyism and the US flavor of messianism probably is connected with the smell of oil which radically increases the urge to democratize a particular country. In any case attempt to export democracy in Russia never stopped since 1991 and under Yeltsin were so successful that the country lost more in industrial production then during the second World War and poverty became a norm for more then 50% of the population.

Carthago delenda est (Carthage must be destroyed) attitude exists partially because the Western elites hate resource nationalists independently whether those nationalists are leftist or conservative. Fighting resource nationalists tooth-and-nail is an important, may be even critical part of neoliberal doctrine. The latter is a civic religion in the USA. That means the Russophobia in the USA has strong religious component, and is supported by 500 pound gorilla of the US elite propaganda machine. In other words there is a strong, consistent tendency of demonization of Russia (Paul Starobin, The National Interest Blog, August 28, 2014):

In any case, our taste for a country—favorable or unfavorable—shouldn’t dictate our foreign policy, which is properly shaped by a cool calculation of our national interest. On these terms, America is right to resist Russia if Putin seems truly bent on bullying his way to a redrawn map of Europe, but also right to try to keep working with Russia on matters of mutual concern such as Islamic militancy. And that same calculation will hold when Putin, as must happen eventually, exits the Kremlin, willingly or unwillingly, whether replaced by a new autocrat or a more democratic figure. Today’s heightened tension between the United States and Russia, conceivably the first chapter of a new cold war, with Europe as ambivalent as ever about its role, underscores that Russia is likely to remain one of America’s most vexing and formidable diplomatic challenges for a long time to come.

So the future of the presentation of Russia as a hodgepodge of unflattering stereotypes seems bright. The naive liberal notion that the world has a teleological disposition toward a progressive end—if only holdouts like Russia would get with the program—is deeply entrenched. Headlines datelined in Russia—on corrupt oligarchs, or on control-freak KGB-generation political operators—will continue to nourish sweeping criticism of Russians, from their leaders on down, as primitive and psychologically ill. Probably no other nation is so easy (or so safe) to caricature.

And the “Russia Is Doomed” syndrome is bound to survive because Russia, alas, still matters. The object of such concentrated anxiety over the centuries, far from heading down a path to obscurity, remains a global force and impossible to ignore. So the worries will live on, too, as will the sublimated wish to efface Russia. But perhaps the good news for the critics is precisely that Russia is not about to go away. They will have plenty of grist for their mill for decades to come.

The issue is whether comprador elites subservient to the US are in power, or more nationalistic "national sovereignty" guys. It is true that a nationalist elite can be as predatory as a comprador elite, but a reasonable degree of national sovereignty is a prerequisite for social justice and it is difficult to raise standard of living if your resources are owned by transnationals. The latter automatically became above the law and do what they want with impunity.

Russophobic views on Russia "There is no life there !"

The Russophobic views on Russia can be summed up in three words: "There is no life there !" This simple formula invoke the whole complex system of "corrupt journalism patterns" and powerful propaganda mechanisms polished during 45 years of Cold War. Those journalistic patterns causes most western journalists (not without help of their political handlers as independent journalism in the USA is a joke) treat Russia as a failed state. Not simply a country that temporary dropped out of the world civilization, but the country is doomed to such a drop by the several immanent features such as "national character", climate, landmass, religion, history, etc.

From Dr. MacFaul quotes above it is clear that in the American media and among American politicians Russia occupies a marginal position. After the Soviet Union is gone, they mostly cares about getting assets on pennies per dollar (behaviour of criminals like Mr. Browder, whom McFaul loves so much, exemplifies such an attitude) and to lesser extent about Russia military capabilities, which are still a risk. Although I doubt that.

From the typical US behavior it looks like American politicians are not really interested in any other aspect of Russian situation, other then energy resources (Khodorkovsky is a new saint in the USA, probably for his failed attempt to sell Russia oil resources to US companies). And he is new puppet in the show of finding the possibilities of regime change and installing a puppet regime as they unsuccessfully tried in 2011-2012. They still miss Yeltsin drunk regime and Gaidar-Chubais neoliberal gang, which almost converted Russia into kleptocracy from which Putin tried gradually to extract it with great and not always successful efforts.

It all comes down to a set of cliché: Russia is corrupt (while in reality this is a immanent feature of all neoliberal regimes and first of all the USA, the most corrupt neoliberal regime in existence) , does not respect human rights (unlike Saudis) and does not play by the rules (unlike Libya rebels), is not democratic (unlike Qatar). Russia seems to them so weak and uninteresting, not worthy of a real partnership dialogue. And is arrogant enough not to agree with the status of vassal so she needs to be taken care of:

"To promote liberty requires first the containment and then the elimination of those forces opposed to liberty, be they individuals, movements, or regimes. " - M. McFaul, The Liberty Doctrine: Reclaiming the purpose of American power. Policy Review April & May 2002 The Liberty Doctrine Hoover Institution

Such an ungrateful jerks, who jailed Dick Cheney best friend Khodorkovsky, squeezed this perfectly honest guy, exemplary "the largest portfolio investor in Russia, British citizen William Browder" (Who, BTW, was the USA citizen until recently, but suddenly changed his mind) and so on and so forth. They should be "regime changed". It is like the relationship between schoolchildren, when a bully see a threat on the school yard and acts preemptively.

Very well orchestrated Russophobia campaign of Western MSM

The first thing that surprise me is a very well "coordinated" level of Russophobia demonstrated by Western MSM. The degree of Russophobia in Western press varies very little be it Guardian, or NYT, or BBC or WashPost. As financial oligarchy controls the MSM you can't expect anything different. They act as a pack of dogs. Typical level is treating Russian as forever damned barbarians. Slightly more advanced is treating Russia a legitimate playground for testing the controversial socio-economic doctrines like shock therapy and a land were any foreign crook is entitled to get rich fast (like Browder did ). But the essence is the same, no right for "national sovereignty", no right for any "special way". Those concepts are simply outside a typical Western press journalists "template" that their editors enforce.

As John Drury noted in his comment to U.S. Russia Withheld Intel on Boston Bomb Suspect - WSJ.com

Ridiculous comments populate the blogs, the op eds and the comment sections of most sites. But what unsettles me more is the rabid Russian phobia (call it "Russophobia") which populates the American press (liberal/conservative).

We never see things from the Russian side. It is always Putin who is up to no good, Vladimir, the monster, the balding fool with no shirt flexing his muscles. This is not the Cold War, yet we have not shed our Cold War biases.

See Propaganda and The Guardian Slips Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment for more information

Two types of Russophobes: "Russophobes by conviction" vs. "Russophobes for money"

Russophobia is a form of racism and studies of other forms of racism such as anti-Semitism are applicable here.

It is a prejudice against, hatred of, or discrimination against Russian people as an ethnic, religious, or racial group. In Baltic states it is close to regime of Apartheid. In Ukraine it has a form of suppression of Russian language and culture

Russophobes by conviction

I have an impression on the personal level sincere and acute Russophobia (not to be mixed with Russophobia as a official line ) can be a compensation mechanism (classic Adorno). I am not talking here about ideological prostitution typical for MSM journalists. But on individual level it looks like projection not that different from other national bigotry and the undisputable and provable fact is that the USA and, especially, Great Britain MSM serves as an "Incubator of hatred" toward Russia. Of course this also tells something very important about the US/GB governments.

I suspect that those who adopt Russophobia position not for money (let's call them "sincere Russophobes") have a personality of sectants/fanatics in a very deep sense of this word. Or like Eric Hoffer called them "True Believers" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_True_Believer).

For though ours is a godless age, it is the very opposite of irreligious. The true believer is everywhere on the march, and both by converting and antagonizing he is shaping the world in his own image. And whether we are to line up with him or against him, it is well that we should know all we can concerning his nature and potentialities.

In a way sincere Russophobe's are almost extinct minority (but still can be found among Ukrainian nationalists ;-).

Russophobes for money

There a legion of "Russophobes for money". People who are profiting personally from Russophobia nonsense they spew. This is common among all those people who are far from the sharpest tools form the box. As a result they try to occupy a niche that is still available and earn living in such a disgusting way. At best they are average with very few exceptions (Belkovski might be one exception). In a way we can view it as a survival tactic of people with mediocre talent in conditions of high competition. Similar displacement into obscure niches can be observed for mediocre people in other professions.

This "Russophobia for money" is common among all those people who are far from the sharpest tools form the box. As a result they try to occupy a niche that is still available and earn living in such a disgusting way.

"Russophobia for money" is common among all those people who are far from the sharpest tools form the box. As a result they try to occupy a niche that is still available and earn living in such a disgusting way.

Cold War II as an attempt to slow down the pace of Russia modernization and preserve it as an "oil drum" for the West

Cold War II is rooted not in Ukrainian event (The EuroMaydan coup d'état was organized by the USA and Western powers; Crimea was only a pretext) but is closely connected with the neocon attempts to slow down the pace of Russia modernization and secure Russia status as resource vassal of the USA. Here is a part of discussion from Kremlin Stooge that touch this theme in relation to Skolkovo techno-park.

kievite:
April 13, 2011 at 6:15 pm

This is a very apt comment and I wish that your observation comes true. But the problem is that as you :

"The forces arrayed against Russia are sufficiently formidable and sufficiently unrelenting "

First of all the West is rich enough to finance substantial fifth column, especially fifth column media (official $70 millions for support of NGO and "alternative" press is just a tip of iceberg). That’s the essence of neo-colonialism do nothing new here. Also a large part of elite is already linked to the West and is not interested in any confrontation. Nothing new here too.

So the discussion about what level of state capitalism is beneficial (or where Medvedev should stop with his "second liberalization") is complex and far from purely technical one. External forces should be taken into account and once in a while liberalization companies to placate the West are not completely bad idea no matter how you view neoliberalism: state capitalism requires periodic "purges" (Stalin well understood that) and "liberalization" and, especially "fight with corruption" provides perfect pretext for purges. If one looks at some Medvedev’s actions from this angle and you might well come to conclusion that it might be not complete sell-off but a more complex game.

In situation when you need to purge excesses of state capitalism West can serve as a natural ally and in such situation slogan of cat Leopold "Rebyata davayte zhit’ druzhno" (Let’s be friends) suddenly became politically viable at least among the pro-Western part of the elite. And the idea of periodic moving the pendulum from "higher statism" to "higher private enterprise support" in order to avoid stagnation, say, each seven-ten year period is not completely absurd. The main question is whether the process runs out of control or not.

Another possible contention point is that sooner of later oil flow will start diminishing and with it revenues will also start dropping. Currently there are too few industries that can replace the flow the oil dollars. Attempt to revitalize some of the existing heavy industries under the flag of liberalization, if done clever is not a bad idea.

And as much as everybody here hates neoliberalism it is very clear about who should be the victim and provides an ideological justification for cruel actions against own population. Like Bolshevism, it proved to be an extremely potent weapon of convincing population to act against their own economic interests (see What’s the matter with Kansas for details). Perfect tool for the brainwashing "peasants" if you wish, very important when "Pryanikov sladkih vsegna ne hvataet na vseh" (Okudzhava ).

marknesop
April 13, 2011 at 8:50 pm I believe the oil money will go on for some time yet. Current practices are sloppy and inefficient, and more oil could be realized with better, more modern techniques, as well as new discoveries coming online. However, an early start on overhauling general business practices would be time and money well spent.

Medvedev should draw a lesson from Skolkovo. This is a project he has personally sponsored and touted as Russia’s official debut in the high-tech sector. Western response, overall, has been withering and contemptuous, although some major commercial figures (such as Microsoft) have offered early investment optimism. Collective opinion seems to be that Russia will use the new tech city as a base from which to steal foreign technology secrets from investors, or that it will be a dismal failure because Russians have no real ideas of their own. The west is likely to greet other initiatives by Medvedev in the same manner – hearty laughter, followed by offers to come in and make western-style changes for him, in exchange for certain considerations.

kievite
April 14, 2011 at 1:21 am

Very true. Thanks for the response.

You are right: Skolkovo is fuzzy (what exactly is "high-tech") initiative as first of all Medvedev can’t abolish brain-drain and that what will happens with the most talented researchers. The only realistic bait he has is blocking the companies from entering Russian market unless they provide considerable degree of localization and require that some fraction of research be performed in such parks. That’s a variant of policy that China successfully used. But if Russia joins WTO, tariff barriers to protect domestic producers in vital sectors will be more difficult to erect.

At the same time autarky does not work either. So maneuvering between those Scylla of globalization and Charybdis of autarky requires top political skills from the captain of the ship.

Some sectors of Russian heavy industry already are proved abroad and products already have some competitive advantage and export markets. That’s where this comparative advantage needs to be preserved and enhanced with help of techno-parks. State subsidized R&D is really important here and can be provided via small university based local techno parks. This would an excellent employment opportunity for most talented students who otherwise might emigrate and such parks not necessary need any foreign participation. This is especially important if company is partially state owned, as this along with having reps at the board that protects the investment. OK, I would agree, that it’s not necessary need to be people on minister level. It would be sad if he really wants not to reform or improve, but to dismantle state capitalism.

The real problem here that without oil revenue Russia gets into zugzwang. Hopefully, as you noted, that will not be soon.

marknesop
April 14, 2011 at 3:30 am

Yes, you’re right about Skolkovo; I did a piece on it awhile back (here) and Chinese tech parks were cited as an example. It’s funny how the west is all gaga over China, and just brushes off the fact that China has a considerably more predatory business model than does Russia; China shamelessly raids the west for business information and constantly tests them for weaknesses which might be exploited. But, obtusely, it’s Russia that’s held up as the consummate corporate raider.

I believe if Russia were allowed to join the WTO, fewer barriers would be necessary. There’s no reason foreign companies shouldn’t have to contribute to the local economy, but they should receive tradeoffs as well such as low corporate tax rates, and that was one of the considerations. Medvedev seems determined that Skolkovo will succeed, while some elements in the west are just as determined it will be a failure. We’ll see. Russia is a world leader in medical research, and I understand that will be a big part of Skolkovo as well.

Does Russia represent an alternative to the neoliberal economic/social model?

It is difficult to say where Putin's brand of mixture of neoliberal and state capitalism get him and Russian people. I would say that the answer is "reserved no". Currently Russia, while opposing the US hegemony does not provide an alternative economic model. And that's the weakness of "Putinism".

Here is a left-biased, but still very interesting assessment of the situation along similar lines: "All attempts by Russia to develop a hypothetical line of response based on similar strategies (i.e. mobilizing a social response based on discontent) have no future, because Russia does not represent an alternative social model, not even in the realm of Illusion of Hope. " ([Oct 21, 2014] Question: Does Russia represent an alternative to the current western economic/social model? Or is this view an illusion based only on the conflict between some traditional vs. post-modern values?):

2014/10/19 | Sociología crítica

Danos tu opinión

Un amable lector de este blog ha realizado un resumen en inglés de nuestro artículo Las catedrales del kremlin y el capitalismo multipolar; es un resumen diferente al que nosotros hubiéramos hecho, pero de interés sin duda alguna. Ha sido publicado como apoyo a una pregunta en un coloquio con el economista ruso Mikhail Khazin organizado por The vineyard of the saker. Publicaremos aquí la respuesta.

Question: Does Russia represent an alternative to the current western economic/social model? Or is this view an illusion based only on the conflict between some traditional vs. post-modern values? / Arturo

For context to the question I will provide a translation / paraphrase / summary of some key points in the following article Las catedrales del kremlin y el capitalismo multipolar

The article contains and numbers many more points (36 in total) but I have translated/summarized only the first 14 (the rest is provided is a very raw translation --NNB)

  1. Moscow cannot defeat the American plans – i.e. the Anglo Zionist world elite – without contradicting the class interests of its own elites (Russian oligarchs): This is impossible because the system of sanctions and the blocking of access to their accounts and assets in the West generates such contradictions in the Russian power elites that, in practice, it prevents them from reacting adequately; it puts them on their knees before the America.
  2. Russia *could* resist those plans, since it possesses the strength, sense of identity, historical memory and material resources to do so. But in order to do so, its ruling elites would have to take measures that would affect their own class status within both the Russian system and the international system. And we can see that these are measures they are not willing to take. On the other hand, the Anglo Zionists suffer no such internal contradiction. Quite the opposite, in fact: Their own interest as the supporting base of the globalist hyperclass necessarily forces them to maintain the challenge to the end.
  3. By the term Anglo Zionists, in this analysis, we mean the dominant power group whose territorial and military base resides in the United States, and whose center originates in the historical and social links of the Anglo-American oligarchies, branching off to other historical central metropolis in Europe or other power centers in different parts of the world.
  4. The concept is made up of two elements that must be explained: the first, the “anglo” reference, has to do with the North American British connection [...] the second, the “zionist” reference, has to do with the interconnection among the economic and financial power groups that maintain various kinds of links with Israel. It is not so much a reference to ethnic origin, but rather to orientations as groups or lobbies of political and economic interests. A good part of this Zionist component consists of people who are neither Israelis nor Jews, but who feel identified with the pro-Israel lobby in the United States, Britain and other countries. Thus the term “zionist” referees here to an ideology, not to an ethnic origin.
  5. The Anglo elites on both sides of the Atlantic have evolved from being national elites to being the executive base of a world Hyperclass made up of individuals capable of exerting a determining influence in the most powerful nation, the United States.
  6. The result of the Anglo Zionist line of attack is that the contradiction and internal struggle is now occurring in Moscow between those who have already chosen to sell out and those who have not yet found the time to realize that a multipolar global capitalism is not viable.
  7. In this context, recovering Crimea was a mirage, an illusion.
  8. If we compare the implications of the Maidan coup in Kiev with the liberation of Crimea, we see that the strategic defeat implicit in losing Ukraine as an ally is of such magnitude that everything else pales by co s (all of them) in Kiev was so gigantic that its implications are frightening. It was either a failure or something even worse. In any case, the Crimea affair was merely a small episode in a confrontation that Russia is losing.
  9. Russia arrived very late at modern capitalism, and that is why its current elite will be unable to occupy a space among the globalist elite without paying the necessary toll, which is none other than renouncing its territorial power base – its country and its access to and control of its energy resources and raw materials.
  10. Stubbornly maintaining the dispute in trying to obtain a multi-polar capitalism, leads necessarily to a intra-capitalist confrontation, as it did in 1914-1918. And because of the nature of the current actors, nuclear powers … it brings the conflict to 2.0 war versions (color revolutions)
  11. All attempts by Russia to develop a hypothetical line of response based on similar strategies (i.e. mobilizing a social response based on discontent) have no future, because Russia does not represent an alternative social model, not even in the realm of Illusion of Hope. It can only elicit some empathy from those who reject the American domination, but here the class contradictions come into play again, because it is not enough to oppose Washington merely on political-military grounds, since the key to global power resides in the financial and military structures that enable global control and plunder: World Trade Organization, IMF, Free Trade agreements, World Bank, NATO… these are entities in relation to which Russia only shows its displeasure at not being invited to the table as an equal, not accepting that because it arrived late at modern capitalism, it must play a secondary role. On the other hand, Russia is ignoring the deep contempt, bordering on racism, that things Slavic generate among Anglo Zionist elites.
  12. In order to be able to fight the 2.0 versions of war that are engineered today, an alternative social model is needed. Alternative not only in regard to the postmodern vs. traditional sets of values, but fundamentally in regard to the social model that stems from the modes of production. In the postmodern vs. traditional conflict, Russia tends to align with the most reactionary values. And in regard to the social struggle, they don’t want to enter that fray because they renounced it long ago. They renounced the entire Soviet Union, which they destroyed from within.
  13. The contradictions and the dialectical nature of reality have their own logic, however. Thus, a coup in Kiev and the widespread appearance of Nazi symbols in the streets of Ukraine was all that it took to induce a spontaneous reaction in the Slavic world. The popular resistance in the Donbass took strong root thanks to the historic memory of the people’s of the old USSR and its war against fascism.
  14. If Russia were to abandon Novorossia to the oligarchs and their mafias, the world’s “left” – or whatever remains of it — would come to scorn post-Soviet Russia even more than it already does. In the months following the brave action in Crimea and the heroic resistance in the Donbass, many people around the world looked to Moscow in search of some sign that it would support the anti-fascist and anti-oligarchic resistance, even if only as an act of self-defense by Moscow against the globalist challenge. If it finally abandons Novorossia, the price in terms of loss of moral prestige will be absolute.
  15. A support of the left has not been sought, but that is a collateral consequence of the character of class struggle open that has been given in the Donbas, where Russia has been forced to provide some assistance that would prevent the genocide at the hands of the fascist Ukrainian.
  16. Cuando say left, we refer logically to the one who has expressed their support to the struggle of people in the Donbas, as it is very difficult to consider the "left" to those who have preferred to remain silent or to have directly been complicit in the assault, and the coup in Kiev.
  17. The degradation of the left as politically active social force is very intense, their structures are embroiled in the collapse, or in the confusion, when not literally corrupt. Then related to both socialist parties since 1914 and the communists, at least from the time of fracture of 1956. The social changes experienced in Europe with the systems of welfare state, based on the elevation of the standard of living of the working population and the obtaining of social peace by sharing the power with the trade unions are at the base of the post-industrial society and the resulting profound changes of values.

    The suicide of the USSR in 1989-93 marked a brutal global change , in which the balance which was preserved during the cold war was broken. That led to the capitalist elite in the west, which we are calling the Anglo-Zionists, to the suspension of the social pact (forced abandonment of New Deal), that gave rise to the welfare state and the emergence stark reality of a global power of capitalists without systemic opposition . Today the whole neoliberal globalization system of capitalism is in danger by the depletion of the natural resources. And to sustain this mode of production, they need to speed up territorial domination in the form of control and access to resources of other countries. Now there no space in the global system for spaces, which are managed autonomously even to a certain level.

  18. The system of global domination, capitalism, ruling elites with a territorial basis in the area of Anglo-American, global parasitic Hyperclass and depletion of resources, as well as cannibalization of the other nations, in the midst of troika of crisis of climate change, peak of the energy and raw materials shortages. those three factors that challenge the current globalization framework ... And the crisis of Novorossia, been demonstrated both impotence and the lack of real political autonomy of Russian elite with the respect to the dominant power in neoliberal worlds order..
  19. The new citizen movements in the western world are not so much resistance movements as samples of the discontent of the middle classes in precarious position of marginalization and/or social trance. This protest led to a "Maidans" which are not permanent and does not question the basis of the system. The participants seems to believe that it is possible to restore the old good world of the welfare state.
  20. The western movements are brainwashed by messages emanating from the headquarters of Democratic party of North America, the propaganda anarcho-capitalist and the various networks of ideological interference, are managing to break the bonds of historical memory that unite the struggles of the past with the present, de-ideologize the struggles and conflicts and to deny the tension left and right, isolating the militants -- or simple citizens who feel identified with the values of the left - of the masses who are suffering in the first place casualisation. At the heart of this new "left" are leaders that are co-opted voices, pseudo-intellectuals who destroy the words and empty of content of key concepts in a way that the alienation of the masses demonstrate at the language itself, thus preventing putting a real name to social process and things, and to identify the social phenomena.
  21. Viva to Russia, which the only country which eve in a weak form decided to fight neoliberal world order and position itself as an anti-imperialist force... It is interesting to observe the current great moral confusion in political landscape of the societies in decay. Confusion which have been stimulated by Moscow actions. As the result some the far-right groups that are simultaneously anti-US that anti-Russian now support Moscow. Also some part of Russia far-right political groups got the sympathy and support of factions of the anti EU far right forces in France, the Nazis of the MSR in Spain, and from small groups of euro-asianists. This line of political affiliation will allow them to simply join the Russia failure [to find alternative to monopolar neoliberal capitalism] and might well discredit then more profoundly in the future.
  22. The euro-asianists forces technically speaking are reactionary forces, neoliberal forces which is comparable to the worst of the worst in the western world. Moreover, they do not have any way to solve the main contradictions that arise in the current neoliberal model in the terms of class and dominance of Anglo Zionist global elite.
  23. Euro-Asianism is just a suitable ideology for the construction of Russian national idea for those who seeks to achieve lease to life for Russia sovereignty on the world stage. It is the actual proof that Russia has come too late to globalised capitalism and fascism...
  24. Huttington and his war of civilizations cynically exploit this confrontation on Anglo Zionist elite and newcomers, redefining it along the idea of the clash of civilizations which avoid using the notion of class and thus is ideologically false. Alexander Duguin who promote similar ideas quite seriously just shows the degree of degeneration of the Russian intelligentsia, which oscillates between serving as comprador class to the global Anglo Zionist elite and the repetition (as a farce, and with 75 years of delay ) of fascist reactionary revolutions in Western Europe, which were phenomenon of the interwar period (rexistas in Belgium, Croix de feu in France, CruzFlechados in Hungary, Requetés and Falangistas in Spain).
  25. The globalist elite offered a solution formulated in class terms, as it could not be another way: in the best cases, they proposes the co-optation to a handful of members of the Russian elite as deserving members of the new global Hyperclass, but this path is opened only the very very rich, and the pre-condition is the delivery of the country to plunder, where the global elite certainly would have need of some compradors which will be more or less adequately compensated depending on their achievements and sacrifices in the name of global neoliberal domination.
  26. The part of the power elite of Russia, which managed to expel the western compradors of the Yeltsin era, and rein in the oligarchs then, had tried with some success to regain control of the territory of the country. The illusion of the members of this part of the power elite -- basically the security services, both civil and military, and various synergies of those with the military-industrial lobby -- is that it would be enough to neutralize the Russian fifth column of the Anglo Zionists to take back control of their territorial base of power. this idea is going to be shredded into pieces when it enter into contradiction with the reality of the class struggle and interests of the elite at the global level. Russia is, for its size, influence, and resources, so huge that a line of action based on the defense of its sovereignty strategic enters in collision with the global power of neoliberalism. And that why it attracts disproportional reaction of the Anglo Zionists
  27. Supporters of Anglo Zionists that are ready to consent to a German-Russian alliance or Russia-EU alliance that give the viability of a idea of mutually beneficial co-development of both Russia and Europe are forgetting that such an action would require European sovereignty. Which is was non-existent iether on the level of the EU, or on the level of member states. The penetration of the Atlantism in Europe is already systemic. In the old European states there are still ancient national traditions, which were based on the basis of cultural, industrial, economic, and political identity. And they still run strong. But in the current situation for such states there no space for the sovereignty as the dominant power bloc in the national elite as well as in EU elite are Atlantists. Where this situation takes the Russian elite and the Russian state without confrontation? A confrontation that they, on the other hand are not willing and are not able to pursue.
  28. The multi-polar capitalist world had its lifespan which come to an end (exploded) in 1914. In 2014, the globalization of the elites and the capital is of such magnitude that no serious resistance is possible on the basis of some capitalist model. In those conditions the idea of Russian elite ability to enforce change to multipolar version of the currently monopolar neoliberal world is doomed to be a failure.
  29. Zbigniew Brezinsky has raised things crudely and openly, unlike the ("fake") supporters of perestroika, and their current heirs in Russia. Brezinsky know how to think in terms of the class contradiction and knows perfectly well that the Russian oligarchy has directed its monetary flows abroad, moved families abroad, and moved their investments abroad. That means that Anglo Zionists can disrupt any claim of sovereignty over the territory and resources by simply pressing the local neoliberal elite, giving them to choose between their interests as a class and their illusionary desire for sovereignty. Because in a globalized world, with its brutal fight for the natural resources there is no possibility of maintaining both, except what can be achieved in terms of direct anti-imperialist struggle. There is no space for the national bourgeoisies in the XXI century. You can only have sovereignty if it is posed in terms of a rupture with the actually existing neoliberal order of global capitalism, which, in its core is Anglo Zionists globalization. This break does not have to be forced, but in terms of scientific analysis of the social processes is a logical consequence of following this path one way or the other. To claim sovereignty over their own resources and territory inevitably leads to confrontation, and logical needs a break up and confront the Anglo Zionist empire. If you really want to achieve the goal. And that fact imposes the logic of the relationships and balance of power in the world today.
  30. The claims of the BRIC countries -- to the extent that you do not question them -- is that they have an alternative model to the dominant neoliberal capitalism model (Ango Zionist globalization with the center in the USA) are doomed to be a failure. The efforts of the BRIC countries can generate a lot of noise and discomfort for the West, but they can not break the global neoliberal system. Those countries are rightfully fearful of their budget balances -- which are very fragile. It can be even said that they are on their way to implosion sooner or later, due to the unbalanced structure of their internal classes, including first of all their own elite.
  31. The claim that it is possible to achieve the multipolar capitalist world (which Russia defends) and which led to current Ukrainian crisis without confrontation is false. As soon as Russia wanted to return to the global chessboard. as an independent player, they instantly saw opponents attacking weak elements of their defense at the borders. Ukraine has been a defeat for Russia and the Crimea is not a adequate compensation for loss of Ukraine. Now Novorossia is being sacrificed precisely because the class contradictions that have emerged in Moscow and lack of desire of Russian elite to go the bitter end.
  32. The situation in the Donbas / Novorossia clearly shows the resignation of Moscow to the victory, and their desire to avoid the clash with neoliberal world order. The fact is that Royal Dutch Shell has already begun the fracking in the Donbas, the coup regime in Kiev are already internationally accepted without reservations, the truce imposed in Novorossia has brought to its knees the armed resistance to junta. All this leads way to deliver Novorossia to the hands of mafias sponsored by the local oligarchs with friends in Kiev and Moscow.
  33. Statement that the destiny of Russia was played in the Donbas is something more than a phrase, It is a claim based on a reality, as the defeat of Novorossia would be the proof that Moscow had not the will to struggle. The betrayal of the fighters and the hopes of Novorossia is the acceptance of the defeat and might lead in the future to the victory to the Moscow Maidan, the same alliance of compradors and nationalists using which as storm troopers the globalist elite achieved their goal in Ukraine. If Novorossia is defeated, they can expect being able to push a puppet into the Kremlin the same way. And not without reason. This summer, the heroic struggle of the militia of the Donbas was the key element that forced the changes of the script designed for Kiev as well as diminished chances of successful application of the same methods in Moscow. The Minsk Agreements and the truce imposed by them are putting Novorossia on its knees, allowing for its destruction, but this time at the hands of their allies. Sad spectacle for the Russian security services, which were effective enough to organize the Donbas resistance, but now are useless and powerless before the neofascist Kiev junta.
  34. The struggle of the Donbas does not correspond to the strategic interests of the Russian elite. They have been forced to intervene to prevent the horror of the mass murder of the population of the Donbas at the hands of the extreme right. But the dream of a Donbas free of oligarchs and with a sovereign state, committed to social justice for workers on this Slavic land are completely incompatible with the post-soviet status quo. Only to the extent that there is a significant faction of Russian elite aware of the contradictions of the global neoliberal game and who put their sense of patriotism first can lead them to face the challenge that they face. Only in this case there would be any possibility of resistance; I would say patriotic resistance, because we already know no one at the top is able to think in terms of class.
  35. While very unlikely - there can be a move from February to October in Novorossia. You would say impossible. But he insurrection of the Donbas in March, logically was "February". In order to achieve victory, to take full control over the territory of Donetsk and Lugansk needs creation of the Revolutionary Military Council and suspension of the upcoming elections. which looking to be a smokescreen for capitulation to junta. They need to declare that they are ready to resist to the end. This output would be desperate move, without a doubt, and would represent the equivalent of a new "October". The event which of it occurs would force Moscow to show their cards to their own population. And perhaps it can help to generate a pulse necessary for the organization of the fight with Anglo Zionists empire between the towers of the Kremlin. That would move the fight toward more patriotic and popular goals, But this presuppose a lot of assumptions and first of all that such a "Kremlin tower", which is capable of emitted such a pulse, exists. Only in this case we can talk about achieving a real sovereignty. As Vasily Záitsev in Stalingrad suggested: "Maybe we're doomed, but for the moment we are still the masters and lords of our land." In Novorossia there are plenty of fighters who would agree with Záitsev, but they certainly lack political direction and, now the lack the support of Kremlin.
  36. The Russian objective is achieving a multipolar capitalism with a Russia united under a nationalist ideology based on the manipulation of patriotic sentiment, Orthodoxy and various Slavic myths. This objective is being challenged by the reality of the conflict, which should be defined in terms of geopolitical goals. The reality is that the Russian elite would be allowed to control their population as they wish, provided they renounce its sovereignty over territory and resources, renounce their physical power base, i.e. homeland. This is the nature of the challenge. Putin is mistaken if he thinks that the Grand Patriarch has the answer in their holy books. There is not enough incense in the Kremlin cathedrals to mask that reality.”

Demonization of Putin as part of Russophobia

The Demonization of Putin is Not a Policy.
It is an Alibi for the Absence of One

Henry Kissinger

Now let's discuss attempts to demonize Putin by Western MSM. They can be understood only in context of rabid Russophobia of US neocons and their poodles in GB and other Western countries (especially in Germany).

Being tactful of Putin is one thing that I would not criticize the US press for ;-). If only because the track record disqualify them from lecturing, but because one simple fact: I remember how they covered the Chechen disaster and how they covered Iraq invasion by the USA. I strongly dislike Chechen war, as do most Russians. However, it is true that Chechen fundamentalists financed by Saudis have killed hundreds of Caucasian and Russian civilians and were a real threat to the Russian society, whereas the Iraqis were no practical threat to the USA.

Another problem with demonizing Putin is that no one in the US political system is willing to criticize the policies of Boris Yeltsin, which ruined the majority of Russian people, falsified elections and included criminals in his inner circle under close guidance of the USA. Sometime it looks to me that the real Axis of Evil runs somewhere between K Street and Constitution Avenue.

And in addition most of US neocons who dominated the USA foreign policy establishment sincerely consider themselves the only game in town. While understanding very little, or absolutely nothing about other countries. And that is statement is equally applicable to neocons dominated MSM such as NYT and Wash Post. American exeptionalism is uniquely blinding phenomenon.

It is actually pretty sad to read the infinite low of articles written without any desire to understand the complex situation in modern Russia. Neocons analytics in regard to Russia is nauseating propaganda. The logic behind such articles is invariably hostile. Moscow either weak or repressive or both. If Moscow sees some processes as a threat, it is racist, if it just lets it happen, it is weak.

No good solution for Russia ever exists according to these people. And it would be better for Russia and the rest of the world if it disappears from the face of Earth as quickly as possible.

See Demonization of Putin for more details.

Apartheid regime in Baltic countries as part of Russophobia campaign launched after dissolution of the USSR

Another influential part of world Russophobic community are Apartheid regimes established in Baltic countries with the direct help of the USA government and, especially, USA emigrant organizations. Western Ukraine also fit this scenario (after EuroMaidan putsch Western Ukrainian when far right nationalists came to power).

Baltic countries refuse to provide citizenship to people of different ethnicity who lawfully lived in them during the USSR period (which lasted half a century or so). Here is an insightful take on Russophobia from veteran Novosty journalist by Pyotr Romanov

A Dispassionate View on Russophobia

10/04/2006

Ability to write about Russophobia dispassionately is similar to the ability to maintain dignity when somebody unexpectedly poor a dirty water all over your head. However, as far as possible, try to talk about this phenomenon, no offense. We will not resent the fact that the "Russian, according to British press - the most stupid in the world." Smile at the argument that the "war against Napoleon won the non-Russian, and lice." We will not discuss with the Japanese man in the street, which feels an antipathy to us, among other things because all the cold storms come on the street it from Russia.

Forget about the Finns, who, according to Western opinion polls, do not love us more than any foreigners. And this at a time when, according to domestic opinion polls, that the Finns have the highest Russian sympathies.

What to do: love evil. In short, keep yourself in hand. It is better to remember the words of George Nathaniel Curzon Marquis, Viceroy of India and at the time the British Foreign Minister: "Every Englishman comes to Russia as Russophobe, and left as a Russophile" This means that in the basis of antipathy towards the Russian lies ignorance and myths. Partly born of life itself, partly by skillful professionals employed by our political opponents: there is such a thing as information warfare. And this is not limited to the Soviet period, but can be traced since ancient times. The disappearance of the Soviet Union did not affect Russophobia much. "New Thinking", which Gorbachev dreamed about never materialized. There is also historical memory. If we talk about ethnophobias, this is an inexhaustible source of poisoned water.

We can present many additional examples, but even from what has been said above, it is clear that the problem is multifaceted and so deeply ingrained in the mind of a typical Western person (to say nothing about establishment -- NNB) that for Russians it is better to forget about an illusion that it can be cured or even drastically changed. Each countermeasure is only a palliative solution.

Thus we should not deceive ourselves - any countermeasure is only palliative. Russophobia glow can be reduced, but to end it might be impossible as is the case with other ethnophoibias.

However, even to lower the level of Russophobia is a difficult undertaking which requires considerable intellectual efforts and financial investments. In addition, the Russian professionals in the field of foreign media (or propaganda, sorry for such old-fashioned word) are long time already listed in the "red book". After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the new government decided that the professionals who know how to work with foreign media are no longer needed, everything will be done automatically: our friends Bill and Helmut will help. In extreme cases, retired professionals can be without problems replaced by the young and energetic sneakers merchants. It did not happen. Meanwhile, the bad image of Russia means for the country significant economic and political losses.

When it comes to Russophobia, the questions usually turns out to be a surplus, but the answers, even the most sophisticated, almost always may be subject to reasoned criticism. This is further evidence of the complexity and ambiguity of the problem. For example, surveys carried out by foreigners, record that in recent years the attitude to the Russian in almost all countries around the world deteriorated. It would seem that there is nothing to rejoice, meanwhile, history has repeatedly argued that a weakened Russia is far less negative feelings abroad than Russia on the path to recovery, when she, like Phoenix, once again rises from the ashes. Thus, the sharp deterioration of perceptions of Russia by foreigners can simultaneously be a sign that Moscow is perusing a wrong policy, and, conversely, that is peruse absolutely correct policy. It is difficult to sort out.

By the way, if we were talking about the West here, it is curious to see how the West steps for many centuries on the same rake. Whenever Russia is experiencing the most difficult times, Western politicians, believing Russia is close to death, begin to seriously talk about her vivisection, and, conversely, when the "deceased" Russia suddenly opens his eyes, the West falls into mortal fear and hysteria. So it was during the Troubled Times, when the Poles, Swedes and British tried to split Russian lands apart. Under Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich, when Russia was still weakened Western Europe for the sake of preserving peace in its own backyard identified zones of expansion of the major European powers: our motherland, according to this "peace plan", was granted to the Swedes. The only thing that did not consider the German philosopher, mathematician, lawyer and theologian, Gottfried Leibniz -- the author of this ingenious plan -- the birth of Peter the Great. By the end of the reign of Peter Sweden ceased to be a great power, Russia become an empire, and a Russian soldier, frightened Europe to such hiccups, from which it can not escape for a long time.

Then there was the defeat in the Crimean War, which, as it seemed to many European politicians, forever cemented lag Russian from the outside world, but came to the liberal reforms of Alexander II, who once again raised Russia from its knees. Later there was a First World, revolution, civil war, and those event immediately generated Churchill plan to put an end to Russia once and forever, dismembering her to pieces. And this project also ended in failure, but instead came back scared the West Europeans almost to death, the Soviet Union.

Finally, the collapse of the USSR has created new hopes, and the emergence of a Russian helm of Putin produced a new disappointment: hatred intermixed with fear. Here are typical in the West, the view expressed by one of the Italian journalists: "The USSR is considered a country, lost forever. The recent emergence of Russia as a nation state was a bolt from the sky. " And that's madam did not know yet what order book of Russian defense enterprises in the past year increased by 61%, as recently reported by Russian President. Thunder would be simply deafening.

In short, we are dealing with a déjà vu all over gain: the same way foreign press treated Russia in Europe and after the Troubled Times and after the Crimean War, and after the Revolution of 1917 .

Of course, the fact that due to the fear of Russian bear whose jaws are in Europe, and the tail is located in the Far East, simultaneously flourish Russophobia, does not make Russians happy. But I personally, if we have to choose, prefer to have a strong Russia with a undesirable side effect in the form of Russophobia, than the Russian bear's skin over the fireplace in some western office, which the owner, proudly showing visitors, affectionately scratching behind his ear. Without experiencing any of Russophobia!

Are there any tools that would provide the West at least a middle ground between a pathological fear of Russian and not less pathological contempt for her? I think it is. All I will not enumerate them all. But one thing worth mentioning is mandatory. Necessary, finally, once and for all clear the historic debris, which is really to blame Russian. We can remember, say, Russian-Polish friction because of Katyn. The fact that Stalin's regime committed a crime, we know the whole world, but Russia, including the modern Russia, could not find the courage to tell the whole truth about the Polish tragedy. If you want to, once again apologize, and most importantly to pass, finally, Warsaw, all at our disposal documents. In the end, there are still living relatives of the victims, who have every right to know how their relatives died. Why this is not done until now, I can not understand, especially because the crime is committed not this generation, but fundamentally different, the Stalinist regime.

At the same time, giving the necessary debt, in my opinion, in any case we can not forget about our own claims. Unlike its neighbors, we all too easy to forgive, but it does not promote respect for Russia. Yes, there was Katyn. But until it was no less terrible fate of the Russian prisoners who fell into the hands of the Poles after the failure of the famous Tukhachevsky offensive of Warsaw. There are undeniable evidence how they treated those prisoners, both in Russia and the West. Division of assistance to POW in Poland of the American Union of Christian youth on October 20, 1920 noted that the Russian prisoners were kept in deplorable conditions: indoors, totally unsuitable for housing, with no furniture, sleeping aids, and most importantly - no glass in the windows, despite the cold. In the prisoners had no shoes, clothing, medicines, not enough medical personnel, food. All of the above, conclude U.S. observers, leads "to the rapid extinction of prisoners of war." Really dying by the thousands. No wonder the Lviv newspaper "Forward" December 22, 1920 calls Tuchola camp a "death camp". Thus, Katyn and Tuchola stand side by side. And it is necessary to treat this and ask the Poles of repentance for the brutal treatment of Russian. By the way, we should not have any illusion. About the same barbaric way the Red Army prisoners of war were treated, Baltic states treated the White Army Yudenich forces which retreat to their land. They allowed to passed then through the border in small groups, then confiscated all the weapon, after another mile all the valuables, and then clothes. So they beat is on the based on ideology but simply because they were Russians. Defending our ancestors who were subjected to abuse, we are seeking not only justice but also of self-respect. Man, do not mindful of kinship, respect is not deserved.

However, even if it has been said above about Russophobia, only a small drop in the cap or a smallest piece of a huge iceberg.

In addition, there is still the main problem, without deal with which all the fighting Russophobia is meaningless. This problem is ourselves: our standard of living, our culture, the development of our civil society, our internal and foreign policy, our military and economic power. Weak are always subject to humiliation: that is, unfortunately, human nature.

Any countermeasures -- although without them it situation might get worse -- no matter how sophisticated and skilled as they are, still no substitute for that, I'm talking about. So, first of all, to deal with all of us Russophobia requires a healthy and strong Russia. The fact that in this country and to live pleasantly, of course.

The old wisdom says, to be respected around, start to start to respect himself - a thing that you have created with their own hands.

And there, staring, reconsider their views on the Russian, even touchy Finns.

Coverage of Russia in Western MSMs resembles war propaganda

The Western media even before the Ukrainian Maidan was broadcast events in Russia exclusively in a negative way. Attempts are being made to discredit almost all Russian initiatives and projects, ranging from the Olympics to the elections of the President, etc. For the implementation of anti-Russian propaganda standard techniques of "projection" polished in color revolutions were used. That includes activization via NGOs of the opposition media and opposition figures within the country. The set of  "prisoners of conscience" was created from   academics, businessmen and politicians, who, for various reasons, wished to leave Russia for the West. Corrupt businessmen, who escaped to the West to avoid prosecution in Russia became prisoner of conscience and political oppositionist on the moment they cross the border. Anti-Russian propaganda aims in stressing civilizational, cultural, intellectual backwardness of Russia compared "advanced and enlightened" West.

The purpose of this propaganda "strangulation" of Russia is instituting "regime change" and bring to power the second generation of compradors. As well as further dismemberment of its territory. Some forms on internal conflict are supported as a part of destabilization strategy. With the ultimate goal of second partitioning of Russia and the emergence of new quasi-independent States.

To understand the coverage of Russia in western MSM one needs to understand the mechanisms of war propaganda. The latter is guided by the following postulates well known since the WWI (Falsehood in War-Time):

1. We do not want war.
2. The opposite party alone is guilty of war.
3. The enemy is the face of the devil.
4. We defend a noble cause, not our own interest.
5. The enemy systematically commits cruelties; our mishaps are involuntary.
6. The enemy uses forbidden weapons.
7. We suffer small losses, those of the enemy are enormous.
8. Artists and intellectuals back our cause.
9. Our cause is sacred. "The ages-old 'God bless America' is playing once more."
10. All who doubt our propaganda, are traitors.

This topic is discussed in more details elsewhere, but a good starting point is the book Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes (1965/1973) by French philosopher, theologian, legal scholar, and sociologist Jacques Ellul. This book was one the first attempt to study propaganda from a sociological approach as well as a psychological one. It presents a taxonomy for propaganda methods, including such paired opposites as

During World War II, Ellul was a leader in the French resistance after being discharged as a professor from French universities by the Vichy regime. After France's liberation, he became professor at the University of Bordeaux. He authored 58 books and numerous articles over his lifetime, the dominant theme of which has been the threat to human freedom created by modern technology. In 1947, Ellul was appointed chair of law and social history at the Institut d'études politiques that increased his reputation as a social and political philosopher which led to the publication of his works in the United States. Here is an abridged Wikipedia summary:

Background of propaganda attacks against Russia

...."The Institute for Propaganda Analysis, inspired by Harold Lasswell" defined propaganda as "the expression of opinions or actions carried out deliberately by individuals or groups with a view to influencing the opinions or actions of other individuals or groups for predetermined ends and through psychological manipulations".[3]

This definition seemed more accurate and was supported by others such as Goebbels, a German propagandist, who stated, "We do not talk to say something, but to obtain a certain effect."[ Similarly F.C. Bartlett holds an accurate interpretation of the goal of propaganda as not merely as an instrument to increase political understanding of events, but to obtain results through action. Ellul supports the idea that propaganda is made primarily because of a will to action for the purpose of effectively arming policy made by the State. Leonard Doob, an American specialist, defined propaganda in 1948 as "the attempt to affect the personalities and to control the behavior of individuals towards desired ends."

Unending definitions show the uncertainty among specialists and the inability of definitions to encompass all that is propaganda. Just because the term propaganda cannot be defined with any degree of precision does not mean that attempts to define it should be abandoned.

"Very frequently propaganda is describe as a manipulation for the purpose of changing idea or opinions of making individuals 'believe' some idea or fact, and finally of making them adhere to some doctrine—all matters of the mind. It tries to convince, to bring about a decision, to create a firm adherence to some truth. This is a completely wrong line of thinking: to view propaganda as still being what it was in 1850 is to cling to an obsolete concept of man and of the means to influence him; it is to condemn oneself to understand nothing about propaganda. The aim of modern propaganda is no longer to modify ideas, but to provoke action. It is no longer to change adherence to a doctrine, but to make the individual cling irrationally to a process of action. It is no longer to transform an opinion but to arouse an active and mythical belief."

...He holds that the main concern of propaganda through psychological influence is sparking action to a desired response by developing learned attitudes. ....

Summary of chapters

Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes is divided into five substantive chapters discussing Ellul’s analysis. Introduction

Regardless of the State, propaganda should be viewed as situated at the center of the growing powers of governmental and administrative techniques.

"Differences in political regimes matter little; differences in social levels are more important; and most important is national self-awareness. Propaganda is a good deal less the political weapon of a regime (it is that also) than the effect of a technological society that embraces the entire man and tends to be a completely integrated society. Propaganda stops man from feeling that things in society are oppressive and persuades him to submit with good grace."[7] Chapter One: Characteristics of Propaganda

Modern propaganda is a technique that requires an analysis of both environment and individual to be subjected to propaganda therefore it is based on scientific analyses of psychology and sociology. Sufficient understanding of these two areas creates the most effective propaganda and without the scientific research of modern psychology and sociology there would be no propaganda. "Step by step the propagandist builds the techniques on the basis of his knowledge of man, his tendencies, his desires, his needs, his psychic mechanisms, his conditioning, and as much on social psychology as on depth psychology."[8] 1.Part One: External Characteristics

Propaganda is first and foremost concerned with influencing an individual psychologically by creating convictions and compliance through imperceptible techniques that are effective only by continuous repetition. Propaganda employs encirclement on the individual by trying to surround man by all possible routes, in the realm of feelings as well as ideas, by playing on his will or his needs through his conscious and his unconscious, and by assailing him in both his private and his public life.[9] The propagandist also acknowledges the most favorable moment to influence man is when an individual is caught up in the masses. Propaganda must be total in that utilizes all forms of media to draw the individual into the net of propaganda. Propaganda is designed to be continuous within the individual's life by filling the citizen’s entire day. It is based on slow constant impregnation that functions over a long period of time exceeding the individual’s capacities for attention or adaptation and thus his capabilities of resistance. In order for propaganda to maintain encirclement, it must be exerted by an organization capable of influencing psychological channels that reach the individual. Psychological and physical actions are inseparable elements to propaganda, however, if no influence is exerted by an organization than there can be no propaganda because it cannot operate in a vacuum. The necessity for a physical organization limits propaganda enterprises and in order to be effective propaganda must work inside a group, principally inside a nation. Propaganda must first organize the masses in order to propagandize within the masses. In general, propaganda is a set of methods employed by an organized group that wants to bring about the active or passive participation in its actions of a mass of individuals, psychologically unified through psychological manipulations and incorporated into an organization.[10] Propaganda should no longer be viewed in terms of an orthodoxy but rather modern propaganda should be seen as an orthopraxy because it aims for participation not adherence. Participation can be active or passive: active if propaganda has been able to mobilize the individual for action; passive if the individual does not act directly but psychologically supports that action. 2. Part Two: Internal Characteristics The second major element that a propagandist must understand is the environment in which the individual operates, mainly the foci of interest of the public. An understanding of the conventional patterns and stereotypes that pre-exist in a milieu provide the propagandist with material from which to build off. Propaganda is not able to create something out of nothing and is confined to developing pre-existing material thereby expressing the fundamental currents of the society it seeks to influence. These currents include accepted structures such as collective sociological presuppositions and myths that are fundamental to society.

"The Four Great Collective Sociological Presuppositions in the Modern World: 1.That an individual's aim in life is happiness. 2.That man is naturally good. 3.That history develops in endless progress. 4.That everything is matter.

The Collective Myths: 1.of Work 2.of Happiness 3.of the Nation 4.of Youth 5.of the Hero"[11]

These currents reinforce socieand hold man’s mjor convictions and propa ganda must voice this reality. Propaganda is concerned with timeliness since an individual is only moved to action if he is pushed towards a timely one by propaganda. Once it becomes history it inevitably becomes neutral and indifferent to the individual who is sensitive primarily to current news. "Operational words" are used to penetrate an individual’s indifference. However they lose their value as immediacy passes as old facts are replaced by new ones. The "current events man" is carried along the current of news and caught in the events of today, losing interest in the events of yesterday. The indifferent are apolitical and without opinion, therefore they are outside of propaganda’s grasp. Incidentally, there are also the undecided, people whose opinions are vague, who form the majority of citizens within the collective. These citizens are the most susceptible to control of public opinion that is dictated by propaganda. Lastly, this part discusses propaganda and truth or the ability of propaganda to relay something as true based not on the accuracy of facts but of reality. Propaganda veils the truth with falsehoods even though lying is generally to be avoided. 3. Part Three: Categories of Propaganda Presented in this chapter is a sophisticated taxonomy for propaganda, including such paired opposites as political-sociological, vertical-horizontal, rational-irrational, and agitation-integration.

Political vs. Sociological Propaganda:

Political Propaganda involves techniques of influence employed by a government, a party, an administration, or a pressure group with the intention of changing the behavior of the public. The themes and objectives of this type of propaganda are of a political nature. The goals are determined by the government, party, administration, or pressure group. The methods of political propaganda are calculated in a precise manner and its main criteria is to disseminate an ideology for the very purpose of making various political acts acceptable to the people.[12] There are two forms of political propaganda, tactical and strategic. Tactical political propaganda seeks to obtain immediate results within a given framework. Strategic political propaganda is not concerned with speed but rather it establishes the general line, the array of arguments, and the staging of campaigns.

Political propaganda reversed is sociological propaganda because the ideology is penetrated by means of its sociological context. Propaganda, as it is traditionally known, implies an attempt to spread an ideology through the mass media of communication in order to lead the public to a desired action. In sociological propaganda even media that are not controllable such as individual art work, films, and writing reflect the ideology allowing for an accelerated penetration of the masses and the individuals within them.[13]

Sociological propaganda is a phenomenon where a society seeks to integrate the maximum number of individuals into itself by unifying its members’ behavior according to a pattern, spreading its style of life abroad, and thus imposing itself on other groups. Essentially sociological propaganda aims to increase conformity with the environment that is of a collective nature by developing compliance with or defense of the established order through long term penetration and progressive adaptation by using all social currents. The propaganda element is the way of life with which the individual is permeated and then the individual begins to express it in film, writing, or art without realizing it. This involuntary behavior creates an expansion of society through advertising, the movies, education, and magazines. "The entire group, consciously or not, expresses itself in this fashion; and to indicate, secondly that its influence aims much more at an entire style of life."[14] This type of propaganda is not deliberate but springs up spontaneously or unwittingly within a culture or nation. This propaganda reinforces the individual’s way of life and represents this way of life as best. Sociological propaganda creates an indisputable criterion for the individual to make judgments of good and evil according to the order of the individual’s way of life. Sociological propaganda does not result in action, however, it can prepare the ground for direct propaganda. From then on, the individual in the clutches of such sociological propaganda believes that those who live this way are on the side of the angels, and those who don’t are bad.[15]

Vertical vs. Horizontal Propaganda: Vertical propaganda is similar to direct propaganda that aims at the individual in the mass and is renewed constantly. However, in horizontal propaganda there is no top down structure but rather it springs up from within the group. It involves meticulous encirclement that traps an individual involuntarily in dialectic. The individual is led unfailingly to its adherence by talking about the dialectic until the individual discovers the answer that was set up unconsciously for him to find. Schools are a primary mechanism for integrating the individual into the way of life.

Rational vs. Irrational Propaganda:

Propaganda is addressed to the individual on the foundation of feelings and passions which are irrational, however, the content of propaganda does address reason and experience when it presents information and furnishes facts making it rational as well. It is important for propaganda to be rational because modern man needs relation to facts. Modern man wants to be convinced that by acting in a certain way he is obeying reason in order to have self justification. The challenge is creating an irrational response on the basis of rational and factual elements by leaving an impression on an individual that remains long after the facts have faded away. Individuals are not compelled to act based facts but rather on emotional pressure, the vision of the future, or the myth.

Agitation vs. Integration propaganda: Propaganda of agitation seeks to mobilize people in order to destroy the established order and/or government. It seeks rebellion by provoking a crisis or unleashing explosive movements during one. It momentarily subverts the habits, customs, and beliefs that were obstacles to making great leap forward by addressing the internal elements in each of us. It eradicates the individual out of his normal framework and then proceeds to plunge him into enthusiasm by suggesting extraordinary goals which nevertheless seem to him completely within reach. However, this enthusiasm can only last a short duration so the objective must be achieved quickly followed by a period of rest. People cannot be kept at in a "state of perpetual enthusiasm and insecurity". Rebellion is incited by the propagandist who knows that hate is one of the most profitable resources when drawn out of an individual. Agitation propaganda is usually thought of as propaganda in that it aims to influence people to act. Integration propaganda, on the other hand, is a more subtle form that aims to reinforce cultural norms. This is sociological in nature because it provides stability to society by supporting the "way of life" and the myths within a culture. It is propaganda of conformity that requires participation in the social body. This type of propaganda is more prominent and permanent, yet it is not as recognized as agitation propaganda because it is more permanent manner. Basically, agitation propaganda provides the motive force when needed and when not needed integration propaganda provides the context and backdrop. Chapter Two: The Condition for the Existence of Propaganda

The nature of propaganda has changed over the course of time and yet it is evident that propaganda cannot exist without a milieu. The emergence of propaganda is interconnected with technology and scientific discoveries yet it can only appear and grow under certain conditions. Several events have occurred that have furthered propaganda by increasing its ability in depth and discovering new methods. Modern propaganda could not exist without the mass media or modern means of transportation which permit crowds of diverse individuals from all over to assemble easily and frequently. 1.Part One: The Sociological Conditions

Society must contain elements of both an individualist society and a mass society. Propaganda aims to capture both the mass and the individual at the same time through this dual type of society. A mass society is based on individuals that are reduced to ciphers based on what they have in common to others. First conditions for growth and development of modern propaganda: it emerged in Western Europe in the nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth precisely because that was when society was becoming increasingly individualistic and its organic structures were breaking down. Individuals without natural organic local groups are defenseless and more likely to be caught up in a social current. On the other hand, a mass society has considerable population density in which local structures and organizations are weak, currents of opinion are strongly felt creating a certain psychological unity, and individuals are organized into large and influential collectives. Mass society is characterized by uniformity and material life despite differences of environment. Once a mass society is created, public opinion will begin to play a role to help individuals form their own personal opinion. Public opinion can only express itself through channels which are provided by the mass media of communication without which there could be no propaganda. Yet it is important that mass media be subject to centralized control in order to successfully form public opinion without any opposition. Again Ellul mentions that the individual must be caught in wide net of media through all channels. Once opinion has been formed, propaganda is able to reinforce it and transform opinion into action. 2. Part Two: Objective Conditions of Total Propaganda Propaganda thrives off of what individuals have in common with others to develop patterns of behavior and modify cultural opinions. Total propaganda recognizes that within a nation individuals should all have in common a standard of living, a culture, and an ideology. The need of an average standard of living is that people must be able to afford to buy a radio, TV, a newspaper, or go to the movies. It is mostly concerned with the densest mass which is made up of average men and not the very rich or very poor. Poor cannot do this therefore they cannot be subjected to integration propaganda because the immediate concerns of daily life absorb all their capacities and efforts. The poor can only be subjected to agitation propaganda, excited to the point of theft and murder. But they cannot be trained by propaganda, kept in hand, channeled, and oriented. More advanced propaganda can influence only a man who is not completely haunted by poverty, a man who can view things from a certain distance and be reasonably unconcerned about his daily bread, who therefore can take an interest in more general matters.

"For propaganda to be effective the propagandee must have a certain store of ideas and a number of conditioned reflexes that can only be acquired through peace of mind springing from relative security. The establishment of a mode of common life- all this leads to the creation of a type of normal man conveniently leads all men toward that norm via a multitude of paths. Propaganda’s intent is to integrate people into the normal pattern prevailing in society bring about conformance to way of life. To sum up: The creation of normalcy in our society can take one of two shapes. It can be the result of scientific, psycho-sociological analysis based on statistics- that is the American type of normalcy. It can be ideological and doctrinaire- that is the Communist type. But the results are identical: such normalcy necessarily gives rise to propaganda that can reduce the individual to the pattern most useful to society."[16]

"Information" Is an essential element of propaganda, which must "have reference to political or economic reality" to be credible. In fact, no propaganda can work until the moment when a set of facts has become a problem in the eyes of those who constitute public opinion." Education permits the dissemination of propaganda in that it enables people to consume information. Information is indistinguishable from propaganda in that information is an essential element of propaganda because for propaganda to succeed it must have reference to political or economic reality. Propaganda grafts itself onto an already existing reality through "informed opinion". Where no informed opinion with regard to political or economic affairs propaganda cannot exist making it an indispensable aspect. Propaganda means nothing without preliminary information that provides the basis for propaganda, gives propaganda the means to operate, and generates the problems that propaganda exploits by pretending to offer solutions. It is through information that the individual is placed in a social context and learns to understand the reality of his own situation. Information allows us to evaluate our situation feel our own personal problems are a general social problem thus enabling propaganda to entice us into social and political action. Information is most effective when it is objective and broad because it creates a general picture. With information quantity is better than quality, the more political or economic facts believed to be mastered by an individual, the more sensitive their judgment is to propaganda. In fact, only in and through propaganda do the masses have access to political economy, politics, art, or literature. The more stereotypes in a culture, the easier it is to form public opinion, and the more an individual participates in that culture, the more susceptible he becomes to the manipulation of these symbols. Chapter Three: The Necessity for Propaganda

All propaganda is based on a need, a dual need, first there is the need of state to make it and second there is the need of propagandee to receive it. These two needs compliment and correspond to each other in the development of propaganda. Propaganda is an expression of modern society as a whole. 1.Part One: The State's Necessity

The State has the need to make propaganda to integrate citizens into its society, to disseminate information, and to increase participation and involvement of members of society. Sometimes the people want to take part in government affairs. However, the official leaders cannot disconnect themselves from what the people want. Being that the people in charge cant escape the people , bait must be presented to them. This acts as a disguise that must be there to hide what is really happening behind the scenes in the government . Citizens are aware that political decisions affect everybody and governments cannot govern without the support, presence, pressure, or knowledge of the people. Yet the people are incapable of making long term policy so opinion must be created to follow the government because the government cannot be led by opinion. All of this describes the "Mass-Government" relationship characterized by people demanding what has already been decided, in order to appear as though the government is actually caring about what the people need. The next part that the book discuss is psychological warfare. It is believed to be a peace policy that is used between nations as a form of aggression. This type of propaganda changes the public opinion of an opposing regime so that it can be in favor of there regime. 2. Part Two: The Individual’s Necessity The individual needs propaganda to gain satisfaction as a member of society. Individuals want to be informed and to participate in the decisions of the state. Propaganda is the outlet through which individuals obtain the satisfaction of having contributed to the state. It is a necessary instrument of a state or institution to spread information to members of the group or society. But for propaganda to succeed it must respond to a need on the individual’s part as well. The individual is by no means just an innocent victim of propaganda when in fact he provokes the psychological action of propaganda by not merely lending himself to it, but also from deriving satisfaction from it. It is strictly a sociological phenomenon, in the sense that it has its roots and reasons in the need of the group that will sustain it. The great role performed by propaganda is in its ability to give the people the involvement they crave or the illusion of it in order for the masses to be artificially satisfied. Individuals are faced with decisions which require a range of information that the individual does not and cannot have without propaganda. Thus, the individual is unable to accept that he cannot form opinion on his own and is caught between his desire and his inability. People are willing and likely to accept propaganda that allows them to artificially satisfy their desire to have an opinion by hiding their incompetence. The individual does not mind being given preconceived positions because otherwise he would realize that he does not understand the problems of the modern world. The individual would then realize that he "depends on situations of which he has no control" and have to face this reality. The individual cannot live in the state of this harsh reality so he derives satisfaction from the veil created by the ideology and the sense of values it provides. The individual need psychological and ideological reasons why he needs to be where he is and propaganda is the mechanism that the state uses for this very purpose. Chapter Four: Psychological Effects of Propaganda

The psychological effects of propaganda on an individual cannot be ignored. The individual undergoes profound changes while being propagandized mainly the diminishment of personal activity. "Propaganda furnishes objectives, organizes the traits of an individual into a system, and freezes them into a mold by standardizing current ideas, hardening the prevailing stereotypes, and furnishing thought patterns in all areas."[17] The individual is traumatized by the overwhelming force of propaganda that intensifies the prejudices and beliefs until eventually the individual has no control over his own impulses. It seeks to push the individual into the mass until his will fades entirely into that of the mass. Individuality is sacrificed for the greater cause of the nation by uniting him and blending him with others. Critical and personal judgment are subdued and replaced with ready-made attitudes and opinions. Discernment is made nearly impossible for the individual whose ability to judge is destroyed making him dependent on propaganda’s ready-made opinions from then on. The individual can no longer exercise his own judgment and becomes honed into what propaganda tells him. He no longer expresses himself but his group once he accepts public opinion as his own. The artificial, impersonal public opinion created by propaganda is absorbed by the individual and he becomes filled with its conviction. When he is fully integrated in the social group and can no longer distinguish between himself and society than he has reached total alienation. In this process, the individual’s personal inclinations lead to participation in the collective where he loses control and submits to external impulses. The individual is suppressed psychologically so that he can continue to live under the conditions in which society places him by providing an artificial and unreal reality that is the result of powerful propaganda. Chapter Five: The Socio-Political Effects

"In the nineteenth century, the problem of opinion formation through the expression of thought was essentially a problem of contacts between the State and the individual, and a problem of acquisition of freedom. But today, thanks to the mass media, the individual finds himself outside the battle that is now between the State and powerful groups. The freedom to express ideas is no longer at stake in this debate but it has been replaced by mastery and domination by the State or some powerful groups over the formation of opinion. The individual is not in the battle because he is the stake and the battle will determine what voice he will be permitted to hear and which words will have the power to obsess him."[18] 1.Part One: Propaganda and Ideology

An ideology provides society certain beliefs and no social group can exist without the foundation of these beliefs. Propaganda is the means by which an ideology can expand without force. An ideology is either fortified within a group or expanded beyond the borders of a group through propaganda. However, propaganda is less and less concerned with spreading the ideology nowadays as it is with becoming autonomous. The ideology is no longer the decisive factor of propaganda that must be obeyed by the propagandist. The propagandist cannot be constrained by the ideology of his State but must operate in service of the state and be able to manipulate the ideology as if it were an object. The ideology merely provides the content for the propagandist to build off since he is limited to what already is present within the group, nation, or society. The fundamental ideologies are nationalism, socialism, communism, and democracy. 2. Part Two: Effects on the Structure of Public Opinion Public opinion is an instrument of propaganda that is disseminated through the mass media of communication to the masses. While most people view the formation of public opinion as being shaped itself by interaction between different viewpoints on controversial questions, this is incorrect because public opinion is delineated by propaganda as a "truth" which is either believed or not believed. Public opinion ceases to be controversial and can no longer form itself except through channels of mass media. No opinion can be held until it is communicated to the masses through mass media. Propaganda uses public opinion to externalize inner opinions of the organization to the masses that eventually produces conformity.[19] 3. Part Three: Propaganda and Grouping In regards to propaganda, there are two groups: the groups that make propaganda and the groups that are subjected to propaganda. In Ellul's view, there is a "double foray on the part of propaganda that proves the excellence of one group and the evilness of another at the same time to create partitioning". This creates isolation between groups by promoting allegiance to the group one is in and suppressing conversation between groups. The more they listen to their propaganda the stronger their beliefs and the greater their justifications for their actions. Partitioning takes place on many different levels including class, religious, political, national and blocs of nations. A superior group is able to affect the lesser groups, however, groups that have an equal amount of influence will only separate further from one another in that a members allegiance to a group develops closed mindedness. Well-organized propaganda is able to work with different elements that exist within a nation such as religion, political parties, and labor groups. 4. Part Four: Propaganda and Democracy Since democracy depends on public opinion, it is clear that propaganda must be involved. The relationship between democracy and propaganda evidently presents a conflict between the principles of democracy and the processes of propaganda. The individual is viewed as the cornerstone of a democracy which is a form of government that is made "for the people and by the people". However, as discussed in early chapters Ellul described the masses are incapable of making long-term foreign policy and the government needs to make these decisions in a timely manner. This is where propaganda comes into play and projects an artificial reality to the masses to satisfy their need to participate in government while the decisions are really made behind the scenes. This was also describe earlier as the "mass-government" relationship. Democratic regimes develop propaganda in line with its myths and prejudices. Propaganda stresses the superiority of a democratic society while intensifying the prejudices between democratic and oppressive.

Major themes

Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes builds on prior notions of propaganda to demonstrate that while propaganda is psychological in nature it is just as much sociological in nature as well. Propaganda is not just embedded into the individual's psyche but also the cultural psyche. Propaganda works off the inner characteristics of both the individual and the society that the individual belongs. This thorough analysis made by Ellul illustrates that to downplay the importance of the sociological influences of propaganda to psychological ones is a dreadful error. Propaganda is more threatening when it begins to be recognized as sociological as well psychological in nature. Below are two major themes the first stressing the psychological aims of propaganda the second the sociological aims.

"The Lonely Crowd"

The term "lonely crowd" is used by Ellul to distinguish the two inseparable elements of propaganda, the individual and the masses, which must be addressed by the propagandist at the same time. As an isolated unit, the individual is of no interest to the propagandist unless he is reduced to an average. It is crucial that the individual is never considered as an individual but always in terms of what he has in common with others. The individual is included and integrated into the mass because the propagandist profits from the process of diffusion of emotions through the mass, and at the same time, from the pressures felt by an individual when in a group.[20]

In this setting, "the individual caught up in the mass", the individual's reactions are easier to provoke and psychic defenses are weakened. The individual must always be considered as a participant in a mass and similarly the mass must only be viewed as a crowd composed of individuals. When propaganda is addressed to the crowd, it must touch each individual in that crowd which is in fact nothing but assembled individuals. Conversely, the individual should not be viewed as alone as a listener, watcher, or reader because the individual is nevertheless part of an invisible crowd though he is actually alone. The most favorable moment to influence an individual is when he is alone in the mass, the structure of the mass is extremely profitable to the propagandist concerned with being effective.

Fundamental currents in society

"One cannot make just any propaganda any place for anybody."[21] While propaganda is focused on reaching the individual, it cannot only rely on building off what already exists in the individual. Propaganda must also attach itself to the pre-existing fundamental currents of the society it seeks to influence. The propagandist must know the current tendencies and the stereotypes among the public he is trying to reach. These are indicated by principal symbols of the culture the propagandist wishes to attack since these symbols express the attitudes of a particular culture. Individuals are part of a culture and are therefore psychologically shaped by that culture. The main task of propaganda is to utilize the conditioned symbols as transmitters of that culture to serve its purpose. Propaganda must be a reflection of the fundamental structures of society to be successful and not contradictory of existing opinions. A skillful propagandist does not try to change mass opinion or go against an accepted structure. Only a bad propagandist would make a direct attack on an established, reasoned, durable opinion, accepted cliché, or fixed pattern. "Each individual harbors a large number of stereotypes and established tendencies; from this arsenal the propagandist must select those easiest to mobilize, those which will give the greatest strength to the action he wants to precipitate."[22]

While propaganda cannot create something out of nothing, it does have the ability to build on the foundation already established. More importantly even though it does not create new material and is confined to what already exists, it is not necessarily powerless. "It can attack from the rear, war own slowly, provide new centers of interest, which cause the neglect of previously acquired positions; it can divert a prejudice; or it can elicit an action contrary to an opinion held by the individual without his being clearly aware of it."[23]

Propaganda can gradually undermine prejudices and images in order to weaken them. These fundamental currents in society create the perfect atmosphere for sociological propaganda which influences the individual through his customs and unconscious habits. Sociological propaganda is a phenomenon where a society tries to unify its members’ behavior according to a pattern. Essentially sociological propaganda is to increase conformity with the environment that is of a collective nature by developing compliance with or defense of the established order through long term penetration and progressive adaptation by using all social currents. The propaganda element is the way of life with which the individual is permeated and then the individual begins to express it in film, writing, or art without realizing it. This involuntary behavior creates an expansion of society through advertising, the movies, education, and magazines. "The entire group, consciously or not, expresses itself in this fashion; and to indicate, secondly that its influence aims much more at an entire style of life."[24] This type of propaganda is not deliberate but springs up spontaneously or unwittingly within a culture or nation. This propaganda reinforces the individual’s way of life and represents this way of life as best.

See also [edit] Brainwashing Conformity Ideology Indoctrination Media manipulation Mind control Propaganda Psychological manipulation Psychological warfare Social Influence Socially constructed reality

British propaganda is especially sophisticated and nasty. See In Foreign Events Coverage The Guardian Presstitutes Slip Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment

Anatomy of US sanctions against Russia

The USA administration, and especially neocons, entrenched in State Department, organized putsch in Kiev with the help of their European satellites. When the civil war started as the result of the putsch the USA introduced sanctions against Russia. See "Fuck the EU": State Department neocons show EU its real place

Tremendous pressure exerted on Russia by the West, largely intended to show the subjects of world politics undesirability of implementing an independent foreign policy. Washington and its satellites in Europe through sanctions are trying to demonstrate their ability to isolate the "offending" countries from the global economy and technical progress by controlling supplies of high technology equipment. However, analysis of the accusations against Russia suggests that both the USA Europe are dominated by neoliberals/neocons who themselves are divorced from the realities of the current processes and looks at the world through the eyes of the early 90th then neoliberalism enjoyed its triumphal march in Eastern Europe and xUSSR space.

After 2008  neoliberalism entered so called zombie stage. It is still very powerful and very dangerous, but ideology of neoliberalism, like ideology of Marxism before is now looks like  perishable goods with expired date of consumption. In no way it is not attractive anymore. Events like enforcing Greece debt slavery by Germany and France only increase the reaction of rejection. 

And that's despite all economic power the USA definitely possesses and success in implementing economic sanctions which drove the Russia GDP growth into negative rages presents huge challenge for the USA. One of the best option the USA elites are pushing is the limited war in Europe that can weaken both EU and Russia. So in a way the putsch in Kiev was anti-EU measure, as Victoria Nuland famous quote suggests.

Sanctions, as damaging  as they are, suggest that the empire lost diplomatic skills. And there is no question that  economic weapons are as close to the act of war as you can get.  See Cold War II. As Patrick Buchanan notes (ecnomicpolicyjournal.com, April 28, 2014):

"Mr. Obama is focused on isolating President Vladimir V. Putin's Russia by cutting off its economic and political ties to the outside world ... and effectively making it a pariah state."

So wrote Peter Baker in Sunday's New York Times. Yet if history is any guide, this "pariah policy," even if adopted, will not long endure.

Three years after Khrushchev sent tanks into Hungary, he
was touring the USA and celebrating with Ike the new "Spirit of Camp David."

Half a year after Khrushchev moved missiles into Cuba, JFK was talking detente is his famous speech at American University.

Three weeks after Moscow incited the Arabs in the Six-Day War, Lyndon Johnson was meeting with Premier Alexei Kosygin in New Jersey, where the "Spirit of Glassboro," was born.

So it went through the Cold War. Post-crises, U.S. presidents reached out to Soviet leaders. For they saw Russia as too large and too powerful to be isolated and ostracized like North Korea.

The sustained expansion of economic sanctions, especially  against the oil and gas sector and specific companies as well as limited access to credit resources indicate the seriousness of the Western establishment to deprive Russia of the economic growth and the ability to protect its own economic interests.

The neocons strategy of encirclement and isolation of Russia

This "Anaconda strategy" of encircling Russia got a significant boost after the victory of far right in EuroMaidan. This event has become for a great geopolitical victory for the USA and humbling defeat for Russia. Russia was in bad shape to prevent it, as the logic of development of new state immanently produces anti-Russian sentiments as the mean to create their own identity. But still weakness of Russia in Ukraine was real and signify a serious problems ahead. Also the USA is way to strong to go into open confontation with the US neocons, which dominates the US foreign policy.

The reaction of Russia on far right victory at EuroMaydan gave rise in in the US establishment, to even more active implementation of the strategy of confrontation, and propaganda campaign against "the Russian threat".  Like Bolsheviks before them (and neocons are just turncoat Trotskyites, so there are a lot of common between two), they hate any obstacle on the path to creation of global neoliberal empire led by the USA. This strategy involves increasing the military presence on the European continent and military power of NATO. Much tougher stance toward Russian projects in Western and Eastern Europe and in attacks on the level of international organizations. Along with the anti-Russian operations in Europe, the US and its satellites are active in the countries of Central Asia and the Caucasus. A good example is the recent attempt to organize a Maidan in Armenia.


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[Feb 19, 2019] Foreign Policy is More Than Just War and Peace

Notable quotes:
"... Congress needs to take back the war powers. The fact that no one wants to be the one responsible for deciding to go to war might help slow down if not stop all these regime change wars. Maybe if Congress votes on it enough of them will be reluctant to make a yes vote. ..."
"... how being a mercenary soldier/terrorist in other people's countries, murdering their people and destroying their infrastructure, for military and multinational corporate profits and Wall St., translates to "serving and sacrificing for the people of our country"? How do you make that weird leap in logic? ..."
Nov 14, 2018 | www.youtube.com

Foreign policy is more than just war and peace, it is a nuanced and complex issue that directly affects us here at home. In this interview, Dr. Jane Sanders sits down with Representative Tulsi Gabbard to talk about U.S. foreign policy and how it affects us here at home.

oneofthesixbillion , 3 months ago (edited)

Tulsi this is the first I've explored who you are. This conversation felt like a life giving refreshment. The constant war and regime change policy of every administration since I was a young child has been utterly confounding. We are bankrupting our society and civilization with military expenditure exactly like a life destroying heroin addict except it's on a global scale. These people in the powers that be together with the masses that back them are literal sociopaths and they're entirely in control at both the highest and base levels. The only other time I've felt as nourished by a public figure that somehow pierced through the mainstream media was Bernie Sanders actually expressing the fact that we are an oligarchy not a democracy. Like oligarchy, anti-war and imperialism is just not talked about. US Americans won't acknowledge the scale of our imperialism.

Jonah Dubin , 3 months ago

Tulsi should run and both Sanders should follow her lead. As much as I love him, Bernie's too old to be president - when it gets to the stage against Trump, we need a young, vibrant face. Add onto that the fact that she's a veteran who actually asked to be deployed in comparison to him, a draft dodger - he looks like an old fat pathetic septogenarian next to an early 40s real populist. Ultimately it is up to Sanders whether this whole thing is about a man or a movement. If he runs, he'll probably win the primary but it is not a guarantee that he'd win - Tulsi would win and she'd be around for decades to come as a standard barer too.

Wayne Chapman , 2 months ago

"Sensible politics" seems to be an oxymoron these days and pretty much throughout the history of our country. It's so refreshing to see a politician who has a vision for the future that the majority of us can get behind. It scares me though. I've read quite a bit about JFK the past few years, and he amassed a number of very powerful and dangerous enemies. They won't just stand by and allow someone in a position of influence to get the truth out about our immoral and illegal wars. Tulsi, I support your efforts to bring peace to the Middle East and elsewhere, but please do be careful. You're a fighter and I admire that, but we all want you to be safe and healthy for many years to come.

George Crannell , 5 days ago

Tulsi Gabbard, I am thrilled to have someone like you running for president. I am a fellow Veteran dealing with disability and I am glad to have a candidate who understands the issues Veterans are dealing with. I also realize that the voting public will support the person who resonates with their personal lives and issues that don't exist in their life they will disregard.Thank you for you're support.

somedayalwaysnever , 4 days ago

The DNC will lie cheat and steal the election from Tulsi Gabbard just like they did Bernie Sanders, and the 15 million Americans who Left the un-Democratic party will double and triple....DEMEXIT

Robert Covarrubias , 1 week ago

Tulsi Gabbard needs to be the president of the United States of America period. If she not the president of our country will not survive. That is a fact, how stupid can our government be. I guess very stupid, what else can I say. We don't hear that in main news media, the reason we do hear it the media . The news media is totally brought, the main news media love money and the devil, simple as that. How are you going to hear about wars from main news media. They do care about the citizens or the country. We really don't have a real news media, it all propaganda. All fake news, that why one doesn't hear anything from the new medias.

Lee Alexander , 1 month ago

Congress needs to take back the war powers. The fact that no one wants to be the one responsible for deciding to go to war might help slow down if not stop all these regime change wars. Maybe if Congress votes on it enough of them will be reluctant to make a yes vote.

D Personal , 1 week ago

WAKE UP, PEOPLE! Bernie is a sell-out - a sheeple-herder that never intended to win. He was a gatekeeper for Hillary because she is AIPAC-beloved and he is an Israel-firster. He threw his supporters under the bus as they told him in real time that the nomination was being stolen. He's part of the con, and the sooner we realize this, the better off we'll be. BERNIE WORKS FOR DEMOCRATS. Vote Third Party (REAL third parties, not the Bernie Sanders' kind).

Kinky, 2 months ago

Tulsi - re your comment about our veterans who have "served and sacrificed for their country," could you clarify how being a mercenary soldier/terrorist in other people's countries, murdering their people and destroying their infrastructure, for military and multinational corporate profits and Wall St., translates to "serving and sacrificing for the people of our country"? How do you make that weird leap in logic?

[Feb 19, 2019] Tulsi Gabbard kills New World Order bloodbath in thirty seconds

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Tulsi Gabbard has recently launched a new attack on New World Order agents and ethnic cleansers in the Middle East, and one can see why they would be upset with her ..."
"... Gabbard is smart enough to realize that the Neocon path leads to death, chaos, and destruction. She knows that virtually nothing good has come out of the Israeli narrative in the Middle East -- a narrative which has brought America on the brink of collapse in the Middle East. Therefore, she is asking for a U-turn. ..."
"... The first step for change, she says, is to "stand up against powerful politicians from both parties" who take their orders from the Neocons and war machine. These people don't care about you, me, the average American, the people in the Middle East, or the American economy for that matter. They only care about fulfilling a diabolical ideology in the Middle East and much of the world. These people ought to stop once and for all. Regardless of your political views, you should all agree with Gabbard here. ..."
Feb 19, 2019 | www.veteranstoday.com

Tulsi Gabbard has recently launched a new attack on New World Order agents and ethnic cleansers in the Middle East, and one can see why they would be upset with her. She said:

" We must stand up against powerful politicians from both parties who sit in their ivory towers thinking up new wars to wage, new places for people to die, wasting trillions of our taxpayer dollars and hundreds of thousands of lives and undermining our economy, our security, and destroying our middle class."

It is too early to formulate a complete opinion on Gabbard, but she has said the right thing so far. In fact, her record is better than numerous presidents, both past and present.

As we have documented in the past, Gabbard is an Iraq war veteran, and she knew what happened to her fellow soldiers who died for Israel, the Neocon war machine, and the military industrial complex. She also seems to be aware that the war in Iraq alone will cost American taxpayers at least six trillion dollars. [1] She is almost certainly aware of the fact that at least "360,000 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans may have suffered brain injuries." [2]

Gabbard is smart enough to realize that the Neocon path leads to death, chaos, and destruction. She knows that virtually nothing good has come out of the Israeli narrative in the Middle East -- a narrative which has brought America on the brink of collapse in the Middle East. Therefore, she is asking for a U-turn.

The first step for change, she says, is to "stand up against powerful politicians from both parties" who take their orders from the Neocons and war machine. These people don't care about you, me, the average American, the people in the Middle East, or the American economy for that matter. They only care about fulfilling a diabolical ideology in the Middle East and much of the world. These people ought to stop once and for all. Regardless of your political views, you should all agree with Gabbard here.


[Feb 19, 2019] Warmongers in their ivory towers - YouTube

Highly recommended!
This is a powerful political statement... Someaht similar to Tucker Carlson stance...
Feb 19, 2019 | www.youtube.com

"We must stand up against powerful politicians from both parties who sit in their ivory towers thinking up new wars to wage, new places for people to die, wasting trillions of our taxpayer dollars and hundreds of thousands of lives and undermining our economy, our security, and destroying our middle class."

[Feb 19, 2019] Why Does Joseph Stalin Matter

Very superficial treatment of the issue...
Jan 25, 2018 | www.youtube.com

Recorded on January 25, 2018.

"Joseph Stalin, Soviet dictator, creator of great power, and destroyer of tens of millions of lives " Thus begins this episode of Uncommon Knowledge, which dives into the biography of Joseph Stalin. This episode's guest, Stephen Kotkin, author of Stalin: Waiting for Hitler, 1929-1941( https://www.amazon.com/Stalin-Waiting... ), examines the political career of Joseph Stalin in the years leading up to World War II, his domination over the Soviet Union, and the terror he inspired by the Great Purge from 1936–38.

"Why does Joseph Stalin matter?" is a key question for Kotkin, as he explains the history of the Soviet Union and Stalin's enduring impact on his country and the world. Kotkin argues that Stalin is the "gold standard for dictatorships" in regard to the amount of power he managed to obtain and wield throughout his lifetime. Stalin stands out because not only was he able to build a massive amount of military power, he managed to stay in power for three decades, much longer than any comparable dictator.

Kotkin and Robinson discuss collectivization and communism and how Stalin's regime believed it had to eradicate capitalism within the USSR even in regions where capitalism was bringing economic success to the peasants, with the potential of destabilizing the regime. This led to the Great Purge, a campaign of political repression that resulted in the exile and execution of millions of people.

For the full transcript go to
https://www.hoover.org/research/why-d...

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Andris Falks , 7 months ago

Stalin is one of the most misunderstood and undervalued people that ever lived and it is no wonder - much of history of Russia is secretive and hidden and you can understand Stalin only if you know history of Russia itself. First of all you have to realize this - revolution of 1917 was initiated from abroad, mainly from UK, France and most importantly Germany, what followed was civil war and multiple interventions from all superpowers of that time. Second you have to understood this - civil war was the bloodiest thing that ever happened in Russian history, yes even more so then ww2. Even tho it seems very obvious no historians understand this one very crucial thing - this civil war + interventions + ww1 made sure that people of Russia became very cruel, violent and nihilistic and this is most important - they did not speak any other language then violence anymore. Third, you have to understand one thing very clearly - Stalin knew it was only a matter of time before western countries will attack Russia again, when in 1933 Hitler, who clearly wrote in Mein Kampf that he will in fact attack Russia, came to power, it was a matter of years, not decades when the attack will begin. Stalin had to industrialize or Russia would perish forever. Yes, there was a lot of things done by Stalin that looking form our perspective today seems like a crime against humanity, but let me tell you this - if you had a country full with men, who had seen death, endless death and cruelty, and if you had understanding that either you take these men and organize them and repair and prepare country for war that was coming or Russia will perish, it would be inevitable for anyone to make such inhumane decisions, or even worse decisions. Imagine what would have happened if Stalin had not acted the way he did. Imagine if he had not re industrialized Russia? Hitler defeated combined armies of France and UK in a month. MONTH. If Russia, at that time, had someone in charge, who would not make these seemingly inhuman decisions, we would be reading about Russians in history books. I know people who had suffered from Stalins repressions. It was horrible. Could Stalin have done it without all of these inhumane things. I would say it was impossible - it would have taken too long, if at all possible, and chances are Stalin would have been killed himself. Let me repeat this once more - tragic history of ww1, interventions from all superpowers of that time and civil war made Russians understand only one language, that of the violence. Truth is even to this day there is deep trauma in Russian psyche which has not healed, to think, to hope, to be able to stop that chaos and create some order, yes brutal, bloody, but still order, was a titanic undertaking, undertaking that in my opinion knows no equal in modern history. Very existence of modern civilization, even the possibility to look at Stalin and say he is a murderer and dictator, is only possible because Stalin made order out of utter chaos of endless violence that was Russia in time to prepare for war and to defeat Hitler. No serious thinker can argue, that if Russia had fallen there would be a force in world that could stop Hitler. Had Hitler had resources of Russia it would have been game over for any opposing force, so before spitting on Stalins grave be sure to remember that.

Seekthetruth3000 , 2 months ago

Stalin was a certified violent psychopath like Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot, Khomeini...etc.

kathleen smith , 3 months ago

Mao did the same exact thing -- Watch and see if the same thing happens here in the US. All the US idiots that supported the financial destruction of the US will find the same fate.

ap5170 , 1 month ago

Our nations education system has done a serious disservice to our countrymen by not teaching the horrors of communism at the same level as they teach about the nazis. Both serve in their equal way as a reminder of how extremists can over take a nation and they death they leave in their wake.

Pineapplaplatypotamus , 2 months ago

This guy has a way of making an extremely interesting subject incredibly boring. All dry details, no insight or interesting conclusions. How would anyone remember this video without any connection to the rest of life?

Leonid Linberg , 2 months ago

I know that Stalin is terrible..., but who did all those atrocities? People, many people. Not a small group of tens or even hundreds maniacs, but millions of people directly or indirectly participated in those crimes and they had incentives to do just that. Why now Russians don't want to talk about it? Because there is a blood on hands of their ancestors and many of them are the direct beneficiaries of those crimes. Stalin is terrible..., but he expressed the will of a huge portion of the population. Without a support of millions he alone could not do it . Who will have a courage to write a book about that?

Morpheus , 8 months ago

His analysis is wrong, Stalin installed Orwellin facism. It's the Coinflip between Hitler and Stalin, Kapitalist facism and Kommunist facism. Both are equal... Hitler would have killed as much and even more people if he had the time...

Robert 0077 , 2 weeks ago

And they criticise Hoover for being anti communist and going after communists rats in Uncle Sams cabin if only the majority of people in Western society read about the history of communism and how 100 million people ended up dying because of it but they're ignorant and don't care while its gaining momentum in our country and people in Russia are having nostalgia for Stalin. It should be mandatory in schools to read about Stalin, lenin, Mao and Castro.

First Last , 8 months ago

The power of ideology over common sense.. "They believed that capitalism is evil", the moment one believes into something by definition it means without the support of the facts, like believing into JC being part of trinity, called God. The same devastating results. Now we have the new progressive left falling into the same trap of neo Marxism that is destroying the west.

Francis L Mayer , 1 month ago (edited)

This shows how ideology is all bogus, Communism and Capitalism. The fact is that integrity and justice is what builds wealth, not ideologies that are all destabilizing. Justice demands that people are rewarded for their labors and note that things went well when the working peasants owned and worked without coercion. When capitalism becomes coercive it is no different than communism. Justice, freewill and integrity is everything and that is what builds wealth. Greed and selfishness and lust for power destroys everything. Communism brought collectivization and incorporation of wealth brings the same thing since not it is not the collective that owns everything in capitalism but in reality the same thing called the corporation that actually becomes essentially a monopoly that mimics a communist collective. Small businesses and companies, not corporations, in a truly democratic and competitive structure has produced great wealth. If you look at where the jobs are being generated and where wealth for the average person is being generated, it is small businesses in a fair market system.

Рафаил Курмаев , 7 months ago (edited)

I like it when someone of Jewish descent dares to critisize Stalin. Stalin contributed a lot to saving Jewry from physical extermination, to foundation of Israel, lots of Russian/Soviet elite members were of Jewish descent etc. I think this is the only case when it is appropriate to say: "Don't like Stalin? Go and kill yourself", because if you really do not appreciate him, you do not appreciate what he did, like saving your life, in particular. The same goes to Polish, Ukrainians who claim to be especially offended by Stalin but don't want to return the geographical and other perks they got after the WWII and deny the crimes they committed (like killing the Jews in Poland 1944-1945) and were punished for by Stalin.

John Fragoulis , 7 months ago

"Collectivization enslaved 100 million people" It is fascinating really how western narratives can reach new standards of pseudo-scientific levels every day. Why Stalin matter? Because he was leader of the first free worker state since the dawn of states and he made (not alone ofc) capitalism seem soooooooo old and outdated.

Michael Calibri , 2 months ago (edited)

I still cannot get over thinking Stalin is just a low class opportunist who rode in on the coat-tails of the more visionary Lenin and then adopted whatever ideals would foster his survival. He's utilitarian crude but not even as considerate of alternatives as Mao. He simply lucked into killing who he needed like a rising mafioso. If he was intelligent he would've left Russia more in a state of compromised communism like Deng Xiaoping instead of liquidating al rivals who would foster that, realizing ideology could always resurface if power in other spheres allows. Stalin was utilitarian but not pragmatic. Stalin lasted long enough to tamper with the legacy of his story so that he left an impression that he was semi-legitimate to inherit Lenin's mantle. Stalin was the Corleone of empirical Marxism not Machiavelli. He was a deus ex machina who instead of leaving robust progressives like Mao did (they suffered but survived) who changed what was needed to thrive, decimated the hierarchy and left the weakest successors one could fathom, epitomized by Khrushchev. His rebirth is Putin. Russia needs a more Deng Xiaoping or better yet Lee Kuan Yew figure to bolster its power.

Your Muslim Brother , 2 months ago

Lol perfect example of American academics and students being so laughably indoctrinated about even some of the most simple, easily verifiable facts... These new generation of students created by capitalism and American ignorance are going to be the defeat of America

Marek Pająk , 8 months ago

Stalin destroyed his "superpower" country as soon as he created it. Please note USSR starts decaying as soon as Stalin dies. Only repression and violations of human rights kept it together as long as they did

Shabby Golem , 7 months ago

(((Joseph Stalin)))........I can't even pronounce his real name if I tried....Bullsheviks are such scums, lower than animals, lower than insects. A bunch of conniving mongrels that project their unspeakable crimes onto their victims.

Wilhelm Von Heinzerling , 7 months ago

Stalin wasn't a marxist, highlighting the progression of serfdom in the ussr is exactly the opposite of what marx's intended

firevoodoo1 , 3 months ago (edited)

This guy understood almost nothing (judging from interview, didn't read the book). Collectivization was the tool to create market for industrialization. Individual peasant farms were too poor to buy tractors and other expensive products of Soviet industrial revolution of 1920-th. Collective farms were able (and ordered) to do so. Not defending moral side here just like moral side "Enclosure" – immediate prerequisite of British industrialization of XVI century. Idea was the same – creation of industrial might on the back of peasants. Big deal. Btw among my ancestors were Kulaks (meaning "Fist" in Russian, quite pre-communist peasant term describing peasant "bankers" who lent seeds and equipment to poor peasants for interest) so I'm not in position to defend commies but just amused to hear this rubbish. As for repressions of mid 1930-th. Stalin (like everybody else) knew who (Western bankers) and why (to crush Soviet Union) took Hitler to power. From that moment on Soviet Union was preparing for war. Btw not only with Germany but with United Europe. It is easier to list EU countries which didn't invade us in 1941: Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, Great Britain and Turkey. Except for Great Britain all of them traded, got diplomatic relations etc. with Germany (including btw US till 1942 when Hitler declared war to US lol). Anyways those repressions cleansed Soviet ruling class of old commie demagogues good for nothing expect babbling. Especially the army. Btw in 1944 Goebbels realized (in his diary) how genius it was: Hitler's generals were old tards in their mid-70-th at best, while Soviet generals were in their mid-40-th – ambitious and energetic. The same was true for civil administration. Anyways I'm not defending SU (after all it failed, whatever the reason) I'm just amazed to see the guy who is actually knowledgeable on details but fails to understand the general picture so-to-speak.

Hunt w , 8 months ago (edited)

I get annoyed when Communist sympathizers (Tankies) suggest that there is no other alternative than unrestrained capitalism and Marxism. I disagree. There of course, is the middle-way between socialism and capitalism. West Germany, Adenauer, and Erhard enshrined this with their "social market economy", robust social welfare programs and the free-market system operating within it.

np 1993 , 2 months ago (edited)

You Westerners, especially Americans (both liberals and conservatives) are obsessed by the crimes of non western rulers and dictators and other political leaders (to the point extreme exaggeration) but you never look into your own mirror and see your own bloody crimes. If you did that would see that you were no better at all. British empire throughout its history was no better than USSR and comitted terrible attrocities around the world (just ask people of India or Africa) but no one ever calls them evil empire as they do for Soviets. If you look more deeply into the Russian history you will see that Stalin was not much different than other tyranical rulers of Russia like Peter the Great, Cathrerine the Great of Ivan the Terrible. He followed the same geopolitical doctrine established by Peter the Great (create buffer zone in the west from eastern European countries, take control of Balkan pennisula and eastern part of Mediterranean which Stalin failed, create preasure on Turkey and Persia (Iran) to secure borders which he also did, take full control of Black sea etc.) Stalin is not hated in the West just because of his crimes but mainly because he created a huge geopolitical rival . That is the very same reason why is he considered as the most popular historical figure in modern Russia.For them he is the great leader, 20th century equivalent to Alexander Nevsky, Ivan the Terrible, Peter the Great or Putin today. Cruel but rightful, the one who will lead them to the new victories and protect them from western invasion (tbh there were multiple tries to invade Russia from west : Teutonic Knights,Poland ,Sweden, Napoleon and Hitler all tried but failed). They (Russians) see the history from their own point of view and you see it from your own, but the real truth is somewhere in the middle. This is a geopolitical battle nothing more than that. Greetings from Serbia.

John Smith , 2 days ago

So in short, because capitalists would not loan money to the USSR, USSR instead forced collectivization to raise grain to exchange for hard cash. In addition, because capitalists would not loan money to the USSR, we alienated the USSR, lost it as a potential ally against Hitler in the 30s, which allowed Germany to rise, and 55,000,000 people get killed. PLUS citizens of the capitalist nations wind up paying for that war anyway, at far higher cost than those refused loans. Thanks, capitalists! Btw this Hoover Institution interviewer could not think outside the box if his life depended on it.

John Smith , 2 days ago

No matter how hard Kotkin tries, this clueless interviewer can't appreciate history because he's so damned wedded to the status quo explanation that touts the US and condemns Stalin. Kotkin's fundamental message is that Stalin is perhaps the only man history has seen who could stand this rigorously for the principles at which the USSR was aiming. Kotkin says, the goals were there, the methods would have to be severe, Stalin followed through, hence his greatness. Interviewer responds: "Yeah the terror." Just a dolt.

kiril K , 1 month ago (edited)

Stalin has industrialized and in many ways modernized for 20-30 years a totally devastated and disorganized, vastly peasant country, at the expense of enormous political and social repressions. Fact. People forget that Russia was pretty much still a feudal country before the revolution. Was he right aiming and doing that and were there better ways - is another thing. Was he brutal and inhuman from modern western perspective - of course. But the moral judgement itself does not explain many other historical phenomena.

Slicem F , 1 month ago (edited)

Interesting, how professor jumped from "Stalin survived" to "USSR economy is back on rails", missing the part, how bad collectivisation overcame exellent private farming. While it is obviouse, that collective work on a ground is MORE productive, and even MUCH MORE productive because it can be mechanised with tracktors and other machines. Theory over reality? Ha. P.S. The farther I listern, the more I wondering, what sources this professor used. Solzhenitzin? No crisys in 193x? Ever heard about Mein Kampf? 830000 killed in 1936-1938? Where are those numbers came from? Official NKVD internal number is about 600000 executed from 1935 to 1953. All of them including common crimes like murder. And it`s crosscheked. Read a god damn official NKVD documents. They are opened to read today.

Harry XY Roberts , 1 week ago (edited)

Just an off the wall idea, i know nix of this history but is it possible that the Terror starting in 1936 that so weakened the Soviet Union before the war that Hitler knew was coming, that Stalin is suggested to have instigated against his own regime's supporters to consolidate his own position from any challenge, could have been a Nazi psychological operation directly targeting Stalin and using his own authority against the SU in general?

Xavier Quiñones de León , 1 month ago

STALIN was a GEORGIAN SEMINARIST like other ortodox seminaristen of Gergian he hate the jews and the Otomans...Trosky said to Spanish Ambassador in Paris Don Pepe Quiñones de León in SdN that STALIN said Germans want the open Vienna to OTOMANS...German is in the hands of Otoman Turkish and only RUSSIA can save GEORGIA and ARMENIA....and Moscow was in the hands of KAUKASIANS ready to stop OTOMANS and NAZI...Ruddolf HESS was the founder ofMUSLIM BRODERHOOD in Aegypt

Sabyasachi Mitra , 3 weeks ago

Same Anglo-American propaganda to malign Russia and Stalin. The fact is it is because of Stalin Hitler could be defeated. The fact is after the war USA formed these institutions and fake historians who and rehabilitated former Nazi generals (War criminals) to malign Russia and Stalin.

np 1993 , 2 months ago (edited)

Western countries more precisely western ruling elites think that they some kind of moral highground or moral integrity to criticize other nation's leaders. The problem is they don't have minimal moral integrity to apply such criticism. Minimal moral integrity means that if we think that something wrong or bad when others do it, it is also bad when we do it. Everything else is hypocrisy. Western elites don't hate and despise Stalin not just because of his crimes or because of his ideology. Imagine that Stalin was nightmarish version Yeltsin, submissive and cooperative to the West but in the same timr tyranical and merciless to his own people (somethin like Saudia Arabia but 10 times worse). Nobody would say anything , they would just pretend that nothing happened. Stalin strenghtened Ŕussia like no other Russian leader before even Peter the Great can't come close to him. Under Stalin's rule Russia/USSR evolved from agrarian country that was ripped apart by war with illiterate mostly rural population with no health care to powerful industrial war machine, with modern infrastructure and science, with millitary that was able to compete with Hitler (and defeat him) and later with USA, that had nuclear weapons that still protect Russia. From agrarian society to nuclear superpower and independent geopolitical rival with second most powerful economy right after USA (until Brezhnev era of stagnation). This is the main reason why West hates him (similar can be applied to Putin today but to much lesser degree).This is also the only side that most Russians see about Stalin, and usualy ignore the other much darker side of his rule. Never before in Russian history so many people were shot and sent to death camps-Gulag. Never before in history of Russia so many people died from hunger or were forcibly moved from their homes. It was a reing of remarkable political terror, time of purges of anyone who thought different from main party line. This is what West heavily exploits in their propaganda to the point when it becomes ridiculous. Similar can be said about communist China and Mao Zedong. Communist victory in 1949 was labelled by Americans as "the loss of China". What was exactly lost? Did China dissapear from the face of earth? None of that, the only thing that was lost is Western influence over China. For more than 100 years China was under Western and Japanese influence (100 years of humilliation as Chinese would say). Chinese people were humilliated and killed, their former empire's treasures looted, strategic parts of territory taken away by British and Japanese, with any atempt of rebellion or reformation by standards of western democracy crushed ruthlessly by either by West (British,French and Americans) or by Japanese and their chinese warlord puppets . When communista won everyone was outraged because China finally become independent and free from foreing occupation, therefore becoming a rival. They don't care about democracy or human rights, they just don't want you to be independent and have control over your territory and natural resources. Democratic or despotic it doesn't matter at all, only what matters is are you independent or not.

Comrade Soros , 8 months ago

Oh please. Another propaganda piece that tells the American/Bourgeois perspective. Which is 80% bullshit and misrepresentation. Stalin was not a dictator, nor was he a genocidal maniac. This is purely American propaganda. In fact, 70% of all Russians still believe Stalin was the best figure of the 20th century. Stalin first of all did not support a dictatorship. Nor was collectivization "forcing" collectivization on "innocent peasants." In 1917, during the Russian Febuary and October Revolution, the Soviet vanguard (the leaders of the Bolsheviks) did not control most of Russia. Even into the 30's, the state could not police the entire Soviet Union. It was simply to large. Instead, local workers councils decided how their communities were run. The Soviets (A Soviet is Russian for council) decided how to manage their factories and communities. The Soviets were made up 100% of workers who willingly consented to join in a greater entity to gain democratic control over their communities. They also established workers militias and police forces. The peasants, who due to the revolution and natural famines that came after, (Russia had experienced many famines before 1917) wanted food to eat. So naturally, they went to the people who had an abundance of grain. These people were the Kulaks. The Kulaks hoarded grain so that they could artificially raise prices on the starving peasants. In response the vangaurd and local soviets told the Kulaks to hand over their grain so as to feed the hungry masses. When they refused, and helped contribute to worsening the issue of food scarcity, they were told they could either release control of their hoarded grain, or face Soviet law. This is where the whole "forced collectivization" meme comes from. Also, a collective is not state run. It is state guided. A collective, or cooperative as they are known as in most Capitalist countries was a independent entity that was run in a decentralized local fashion. Workers democratically decided most of the decisions that were made in the cooperatives/collectives. And state only served to ensure health standards and guide production. Next, the Stalin never "enforced" anything on the workers. The workers were in charge of their own destiny. You can see this in the 1936 constitution. A constitution in which Stalin fought tooth and nail to get secret ballots put in. Stalin, contrary to popular belief in the west, could not on a whim tell the NKVD to go kill Ukrainians or some shit. There was the Politburo. Which was comprised of other high ranking Soviet officials. Many of these officials opposed Stalin and his reforms. Leading to less democracy in the USSR than there should have been. Stalin tried multiple times until his death to give more power to the Soviets. However, at every turn his revisionist opponents would stop him. Stalin also was the one who mandated that the corrupt NKVD be purged after he found out about the wrongful detention of innocents. In 1939, Stalin led the purging of the NKVD and all innocent victims were released and compensated. This is quite contrary to image this video is trying to paint. As for the "muh 60-100 million dead Ukrainians!" This is also bullshit. No where in and Soviet census are these ridiculous claims found to be accurate. Under Stalin Soviet population had an annual growth of around 1.4%. During the second World War, population dropped drastically, with around 10 million dead. However the largest fall in Soviet Union population was in 1992, when the USSR fell due to traitors within the party. The same who opposed Stalin's reforms and destroyed his name. The same who allied with the enemies of the USSR. Please don't believe this libelous nonesense. This IS propaganda. If you want to know my sources just ask and I'll provide. I also suggest watching TheFinnishBolshevik if you want to see the other perspective on the USSR. One last thing, Capitalism kills 2 million each year...

nsa , 8 months ago

"Stalin is the one who did it?" quoth the pseudo-intellectual interviewer. Sure, one guy did it! What nonsense! The Holodomir was about killing the Christian middle class of the Ukraine, who were land-owning farmers (called "peasants" by rootless cosmopolitans). There is a curious religious component to bolshevism. Kaganovich and Yagoda played interesting roles in the Holodomir and other ethnic purges. The necessity of collectivization is taught by the same rootless cosmopolitans who created Stalin and implemented "change, change, change," then jumped ship for the US.

multisphere1 , 3 months ago

I have to note that both, Stalin and Hitler both were creative individuals , both were creating world around them the way they were believing it. Hitler was an artist, in his early years , Stalin , as a young boy wrote very nice poetry. The tremendous determination comes from this creative energy,which makes this individuals stand out from others. They were good or bad, let's put this in this kind of simple way, is the question of the different kind.

Brady Garnier , 8 months ago

I see a questionable statement early on: Marxism-Leninism requires collectivization of peasants. Marx and Lenin dealt with the urban proletariat without really addressing the rural economy. The Bolsheviks improvised their rural economic policies as they went and Stalin collectivized not for socialist ends, but for nationalist ends. The nation needed to take the kulaks land and force them into more efficient collectives.

Chameleon Firestorm , 2 months ago (edited)

The Hoover Institute is filled to the brim with blood-thirsty neocons, and are pushing for more wars in the middle East. The Trump regime is plundering the American people for the 0.1 percent. White fascism is emboldened, gun violence and hate crimes are rising. But yes, tell us about how some paranoic hallucinated emergent Stalinism is the greatest threat to America. The quivering voice of "I hope millennials are listening" from this blood sucking world-killer is pathetic.

Tom Clyde , 8 months ago (edited)

New Economic Policy stopped bringing benefits in the middle of 20s, stagnation and decoy, it couldn't feed all the people, to build new industry. Collectivization and industrialization solved that problem with 15% economic growth per year, non of capitalistic states could even dream about similar digitals...Hey, Kotkin, why didnt you tell how Stalin wanted to make the direct elections on every ruling positions in his 1936 Constitution to make USSR even more democratic but lost it and than Nomenklatura started repressions as an answer to destroy Stalin's crew? Stalin edited confessions.. oh my god, what a bullshit.. now i understand why westeners never understand Stalin because of freaks like this Kotkin who creates fake history.

California Girl , 1 month ago

Bolshevik revolution was envisioned and led by Jews. While Jews constituted 1.2% of Russian population, Bolshevik ;leadership was 85% Jewish. Bolsheviks murdered or starved over 20 Million people, mostly Orthodox Christians. While all are concerned about 4 Million Jews killed during WWII, nobody cares about Jewish Communists killing 20 Million people in Russia.

Seventh Anubis , 1 month ago (edited)

Take land away from the peasants? lol. You mean the landlords and the Abrahamic church. The peasants were brainwashed fools who thought jesus would be mad if they didn't serve their landlords. There were around 10,000 people executed by Stalin and Mao. Not even close to millions. Most of which were utter morons. My father lived in the USSR under Stalin and it wasn't bad or that much different than the USA. The US just put more perfume and lipstick on the pig. Like this nonsense I'm watching right now.

Alex Leaud , 2 months ago

Thank you Stalin for defeating the Nazi scum and saving Mother Russia and keeping Western degenerate retardedness out of Russia :)

jackgoldman1 , 2 months ago (edited)

Why can't you say Trotsky was a genius Jew? A great Jewish revolutionary, and Marx was a Jewish revolutionary. It's about Jews trying to create their Utopian Heaven on Earth, a perfect society, the dream of the Jews who dream of equality. Bolsheviks were mostly Jews promoting Communism, for their Utopian Holy Land. Hitler hated Jews because they supported Communism and Russia who wanted to take over Germany and it's wealth and economy. Communists DID take over Germany for fifty years. Hitler saw this coming.

Tim Moore , 2 months ago

I find it strange that Kotpic mentions 'judeo/bolshevism' once, and only in passing. Yet bolshevism is all tied up with the Jews. Trotsky was a Jewish revolutionary, who delivers seed money directly from American Jewish banker Jacob Schfiff to early Russian revolutionaries, most of whom are Jewish . Kotpic fails to inform us that many of those cadres, sent into the country side to help collectivize the farms, are themselves Jews. He makes absolutely no reference to chief Jewish lieutenants of Stalin, like kagonovich and Yagoda. These two murderous thugs are just like their boss. Does Kotpic keep these figures out of the narrative because he is a Jew as well? I don't know, but one has to wonder

Andrey Che , 8 months ago (edited)

Because Jews cannot forgive Stalin for removing Jewish Bolsheviks from the helm, stopping Lev Bronstein's (Trotsky) Permanent Revolution and disbanding their Third International! Of course it did not stop the suffering of the Russian people a bit: after millions tortured, raped and murdered by Jewish Bolsheviks during the "Russian" revolution and the ensuing bloody civil war Jews continued their work under Stalin: just check out the crimes of Lazar Kaganovich and Genrikh Yagoda (aka Yenokh Iyeguda): those are just a couple of prominent Jewish mass-murderers that are personally responsible for millions of deaths in the Ukrainian famine and in GULAG death camps that each of them created! So they keep on sulking and bemoaning that lost opportunity to impose their evil bloody Bolshevik rule on the rest of the world - and Stalin is their convenient scapegoat, including for the genocide of the Russian and the Ukrainian people that their kind has committed!

[Feb 18, 2019] Politicians jump ship as Jussie Smollett hate hoax sinks amid revelations

Feb 18, 2019 | www.rt.com

As the narrative of a 'racist, homophobic attack' on actor Jussie Smollett in Chicago continues to collapse, politicians and celebrities who fueled the outrage over the incident are quietly backing away and hoping no one notices.

[Feb 18, 2019] Not saying it's untrue': Japanese PM won't deny nominating Trump for Nobel Peace Prize

This is from Monty python sketch, but actually it is real.
Feb 18, 2019 | www.rt.com
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has refused to deny reports that he nominated Donald Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize after being "informally" asked to do so by the White House, in a move that prompted ridicule online.

... ... ...

[Feb 18, 2019] Neocons have now lowered Trump to the status of rooster and he now is acting like a willing combat rooster for those who lowered him to that status, which makes Trump the worst and most despised kind of rooster : one who willingly serves his own rapists. See for yourself

Saker is talking about this episode YouTube. Trump clearly tries to exploit this episode to his advantage...
There is also such thing as Diplomacy... To say "members of Congress support Israel because they are collecting money from Jewish groups like the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC)" (as if this is a new) you are clearly positioning herself against the colleagues, not matter who they are. that complicates your position without any return on investment.
Notable quotes:
"... In fact, all Omar did was to say on Twitter that some members of Congress support Israel because they are collecting money from Jewish groups like the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). Duh?! Is that really news to anybody? Even Trump himself mentioned that during this campaign. ..."
"... By the way, check out how Rep. Ilhan Omar grills that sorry SOB Abrams here: http://thesaker.is/rep-ilhan-omar-vs-elliott-abrams/ . This young lady clearly has more courage and integrity that all her colleagues taken together! ..."
"... But the Neocons have now "lowered" Trump to the status of "rooster" and he now is acting like a willing "combat rooster" for those who "lowered" him to that status, which makes Trump the worst and most despised kind of "rooster": one who willingly serves his own rapists. See for yourself: ..."
Feb 18, 2019 | www.unz.com

In the bad old days of the Soviet Union, one of the tricks used by the prison/camp administration to break a prisoner (be he political or not) was to stick him into a cell with the so-called "roosters". In the slang of the Russian criminal underworld, the "roosters" are the very lowest category of prisoners (in what is a rather complex hierarchy): "roosters" are either homosexuals, rapists, child molesters or men who have been down-ranked ("lowered" in slang) to that status as a punishment for some kind of action which the criminals consider reprehensible (like interacting with other "roosters", mistakenly sitting down next to one, not repaying a card-debt, etc.).

I won't go into all the details here, but suffice to say that one thing which was well known in the Soviet jails/camps is that somebody who has committed some kind of trespass can be "lowered" to the status of "rooster" and that the prison/camp administration often uses these man as "combat roosters" – they send them to attack and even rape some prisoner who needs to be broken. And, needless to say, after you have been raped by such "roosters" you yourself get that status for the rest of your life.

What Trump did in the case of Rep. Ilhan Omar is act like a "lowered combat rooster", sent to abuse somebody else on the behalf of the prison/camp administration. Of all people, Trump ought to know that accusations of anti-Semitism are absolutely, total hogwash. This is just a verbal whip used by AIPAC/ADL/etc to beat up their opponents. In fact, all Omar did was to say on Twitter that some members of Congress support Israel because they are collecting money from Jewish groups like the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). Duh?! Is that really news to anybody? Even Trump himself mentioned that during this campaign.

By the way, check out how Rep. Ilhan Omar grills that sorry SOB Abrams here: http://thesaker.is/rep-ilhan-omar-vs-elliott-abrams/ . This young lady clearly has more courage and integrity that all her colleagues taken together!

But the Neocons have now "lowered" Trump to the status of "rooster" and he now is acting like a willing "combat rooster" for those who "lowered" him to that status, which makes Trump the worst and most despised kind of "rooster": one who willingly serves his own rapists. See for yourself:

jacques sheete, February 17, 2019 at 12:07 pm GMT • 100 Words

@der einzige

Thanks for that! Still the article was excellent just for this alone.:

But the Neocons have now "lowered" Trump to the status of "rooster" and he now is acting like a willing "combat rooster" for those who "lowered" him to that status, which makes Trump the worst and most despised kind of "rooster"

The only beef I have with that statement is that no one did it to him and he obviously volunteered for the job right from the start.

[Feb 18, 2019] A few randomish thoughts on Russia bashing

Feb 18, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Robert Snefjella , Feb 16, 2019 1:34:44 PM | link

A few randomish thoughts: As I've noted previously, not as a result of science on my part but of impression, leading candidates for the title of Most Demonized Leader over the last century have been Hitler, Trump and Putin. Now leaving aside any further analysis of the failings and virtues of the former pair, let us merely note that what the three have in common is at least a powerful nominal emphasis on national sovereignty. Or to put in another way, the 'globalization' meme, with its 'national sovereignty is outmoded, etc', was and is at least nominally repudiated by all three.

Supporters of the globalization meme have included those gaining power via the transnational corporate and financial juggernaut, those committed to variations on the theme of 'full spectrum domination', those who became captive of the ideology that the only way to prevent a global nuclear war was to end the nation state and set up a global totalitarianism, and well meaning people who liked the sound of 'we're all just part of the global village now', with a nod to the "I prefer it such that I can fly anywhere and do anything I want' credit-card powered crowd.

But most of us have our roots attached to place, its people and history and future prospects. We're locals, attached to a country.

Curiously, after much Putin and Russia bashing, there was a petition in Alaska in 2014 – at some point it had 30,000 signatures – asking Russia to take Alaska back.

Joke or not, note that in a recent poll
https://berlinspectator.com/2019/02/11/germans-fear-america-more-than-russia/
approximately 2/3 of Japanese, South Koreans and Mexicans feared the US, and in Germany 49% fear US and only 30% fear Russia.

But RT weighed in with the news that 85% of Germans saw US-German relations as negative or very negative, and an astounding 2% saw Russia as a problem.

There has been a long standing meme represented by the words 'the ugly American'. This was the dollars flush barbarian going off to far off lands and demonstrating a startling lack of diplomatic culture and proper upbringing. But even so, if we say fly mentally back to early nineteen sixties, the admiration for America was still very strong, even in the USSR. When Jackie Kennedy visited India for example, it was like a hugely noted and positive event.

Now, after decades of foreign wars of aggression - the greatest crime - direct and by proxy, all camouflaged by lies, the 'war' turns on America itself, with tens of thousands of swat team raids, excelling in killing the family dog, and some of the streets of San Francisco looking like ghoulish zombie land, among the many symptoms of extreme and perhaps terminal dysfunction.

Who would want that? Countries around the planet are definitely in the alternative approach mode.

There are so many aspects to the cultural divide between Russia and say the US. Note that Russia has encouraged organic agriculture - good for people and environment - banned GMOs.
And Russia's protective standards on Electromagnetic exposures, last I checked, were far more protective than that prevailing in US (and Canada for that matter).

[Feb 18, 2019] "After Putin" anxiety in Russia

Feb 18, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Grieved , Feb 16, 2019 8:16:54 PM | link


Grieved , Feb 16, 2019 8:52:46 PM | link

@33 Fiona Jenkins and others

I've read the article by Dugin now, and gone back to read Surkov. I probably need to read them both again, perhaps forever, because I think they illustrate the nation of Russia trying to find its way forward into "life beyond Putin", and both articles are of extreme importance as two sides of a dialog.

I think Dugin is correct when he says that Putin has fallen short of creating a new system of state that can itself endure. And that the oligarchs will naturally attempt, after Putin, to rule the state as in the old way. He is correct in saying that no alternative to Putin has come forth in all this time, and that this is a failing of the situation. He is also correct, as many friends of Russia here would agree, that the day of reckoning for the fifth column and the corrupt vested interests has not come under Putin, and that it remains yet to happen - if at all - after Putin.

And this is the crux. Will that day of reckoning come, or will evil gain in strength again when Putin is gone?

Dugin says that the Russian people have to have this fight and overthrow that privileged, non-patriotic, class of people. I personally would call it a class revolution of sorts that establishes a formal strain of socialism into the system - creating a hard-wired system that Dugin himself would trust to endure, regardless of leaders.

Surkov meanwhile is saying that the people are the source of all power, and that Putin's genius is that he is naturally plugged into that source. And that any successive leaders must follow the Putin model and be plugged into the people. Surkov seems to think that this will happen because it must, by force of the dynamic itself, and its imperative itself. Maybe this is so. And maybe it happens because of advocates like Surkov in attendance to its birth.

What I take from both these sides of the one argument - which is simply and purely how to envision a world beyond Putin - is that Putin has not left a changed system but he has left a spiritual benchmark for the goodness of the state, and it is intimately bound up with the well being of the people. This benchmark will endure, for a time, after Putin, but how the people rise to fill the void and create a more perfect system, I think remains to be seen, remains to happen. In this regard, I see no reason for despair or complacency.

karlof1 , Feb 16, 2019 9:06:26 PM | link
I humbly thank those thanking me. It's very gratifying!

Jose Garcia @59 distilled much into his short appraisal, to which I only endorse. I see the following caught b's eye and those of others:

"Russia ... returned to its natural and its only possible condition: that of a great and growing community of nations that gathers lands. It is not a humble role that world history has assigned to our country, and it does not allow us to exit the world stage or to remain silent among the community of nations; it does not promise us rest and it predetermines the difficult character of our governance."

Any open-minded, closely watching, student of Russian history would easily understand what's meant by the bolded text; although presently, the lands being gathered are those of its allies. And in those words, the author admits Russia remains an Empire, although diminished somewhat from its greatest extent. However, it's a Communal Empire, embracing over 100 different ethnic groups, numerous tongues, and every major religion. Yet, the "Nationality Question" that so intrigued Sovietologists as a possible way to implode the USSR provides the inner core of Russia's "deep nation," and on almost every public occasion I've seen Putin attend he shows a pride in Russia's diversity Trump and ilk are completely incapable of.

And what would be the state of the world today if not for Russia? What coalition would have been capable of stopping Napoleon if Russia hadn't sacrificed first? The Kaiser's racial war for dominance between Teutons and Slavs, which would've likely been a slam-dun repeat of 1870 if not for the need for two fronts. The 25+ Million Soviets and other nationalities that allied on the Eastern Front to defeat Hitler's Armies. And perhaps I'll go outside the box and allege that if not for the USSR, post-war USA would have colonized the planet as it still desires.

But what of "Putinism." We should return to Jose's sharp analysis and add: Putin insists on the dedicated involvement of his fellow citizens; that they work just as hard and diligently as he; and that they also play and enjoy life just as much. In return, he will be as honest and open with his fellows as possible--which is really rather amazing to observe and is of another universe from what we get "treated" to in the West. He wants feedback--positive and negative--he wants to hear about the problems he never gets to hear about--his humanism is startling, again, as it's so diametrically different. And he's almost always positive--even when he's being negative. If he errs, he owns up. Then there's the courage of his convictions and constancy of being morally, ethically, and legally correct--which in Russia means he's also politically correct. Does it really require someone special to have those traits? I don't think so, although there're personality types that would never be capable of performing as does Putin. I think it's all related to the basics: Parenting, schooling, mentoring, but also the overall context of growing up in what is truly a cosmopolitan nation that's accepting of Others--again, to be Russian means to embrace Russianness, which is unique amongst national cultures as noted above. In short, only a Russian is capable of emulating Putin.

But, the question's begged: Would Putin fit as head-of-state for a Western nation, or would that be impossible due to the vastly differing contexts?

veritas semper vincit , Feb 16, 2019 9:38:37 PM | link
This was one of your best articles, and there's no short supply here. Thank you, Mr. B.
Russia is fulfilling old prophecies.
The country is an enormous mass land, between East and West, and because of this and its history, I believe it is the world 's balancer.
Russia has been to Hell and back and in the process managed to learn from past mistakes( and we have to remember that some of those mistakes, like the Bolshevik revolution, were financed by the west: Trotsky( Bronshtein) and his 2 Bil in today's money from Kuhn and Loeb Bank, Jacob Schiff, Lenin with millions in gold from Germany).
What did not kill Russia, made her stronger. Russia witnessed the "superior" US system, liberalism, during Yeltsin's era, not only communism. And Russia chose neither.
She chose Mr. Putin, a real patriot, who took Russia from her knees and elevated her to the role she has today: a superpower.
I don't think the Russians wanted this role, but they didn't have a choice. Somebody has to fight the psychopaths.
As for US, the coup d'erat was incremental: the cornerstone was in 1913, with the creation of the private Federal Reserve, with its 9 big banks shareholders,the root of all evil .Money created as debt( credit) and loaned to people with interest. Fractional reserve banking later. Everything else is bribes and blackmails.
Then 1963, the removal of the only semi independent president, who would have put a stop to their NWO.
1970's with replacement of Bretton Woods with the petro-dollar deal and the subsequent wars .
And 2001 as the grand finale: total control.
Now US has to protect the petro-dollar, the only think giving it relevance; This explains our wars, enemies, allies( like KSA).
Some say that US was a FreeMason construct from the very beginning. And looking at all Masonic signs: dollar bill, Statue of Liberty, apotheosis of Washington , Washington DC plans, most founding fathers, etc. they may be right.

[Feb 18, 2019] The problem of unrealistic expectations and its role in the collapse of the USSR

Feb 18, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

wagelaborer , Feb 16, 2019 1:03:08 PM | link

I was listening to a podcast and one speaker asserted that Venezuelans would be grateful for their improved living conditions and remain loyal to Maduro, and the other speaker said that people tend to take their improvements for granted and demand more. https://cprnews.podbean.com/e/cpr-news-february-11-2019/
As I understand it, that is what happened in the USSR. The recovery of housing and food after the destruction of WW2 was completed by the 80s, and then people wanted more. The leaders started increasing meat production, leading to buying grain from the US, and then the US bribed top KGB officials and bureaucrats, and then Yeltsin and the bribed leaders of Ukraine and Belarus signed away the USSR, against the wishes of the vast majority of the population.

Only brainwashed westerners would announce that that the destruction of the Soviet Union was "bloodless". That ignores the bombing of the White House, the murders of opposition leaders and the mass die off of millions of people, referred to in the West as "life expectancy dropped dramatically" (because the west is the undisputed king of spin and propaganda).

The population of Russia is only now recovering to their 1990 level, but let us blather on and on about how wonderful the destruction of the USSR was.

It wasn't so great for the rest of the world, either. Our gloating leader, George H. W. Bush, flush with delight and greed, as Russia lay prostrate and ready for plundering, in 1991, announced "There is now a New World Order", meaning that the USA would rule the world. We can all see what that means for the rest of the world, and for the population of the US, now also stripped and looted, increasingly in the last 26 years. The US went on a worldwide killing spree, while at home, with no USSR as a good example, or to support rational left politics, we have lost our unions, our jobs, our houses and our damn common sense. Now they are telling us that men can be women and vice versa, in the final Big Brother control of reality and perception. War is Peace, check. Ignorance is Strength, check. It is possible to change your biological body with the power of your mind, check.
They have turned us into blithering idiots, fit only to bicker as the final looting commences.


[Feb 18, 2019] Who will lead Russia after Putin

Feb 18, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

The Scalpel , Feb 16, 2019 9:00:22 AM | link

This is a "big picture" article short on detail. Putin will go down as one of the great leaders of Russian (and world) history. Fine. What comes after him? What is the plan to transfer power to a subsequent COMPETENT leader? It is fine to trust Putin, power flowing from Putin outward, but what if after Putin Russia gets another Gorbachov? What then?


vk , Feb 16, 2019 9:16:13 AM | link

@ Mister Roboto | Feb 16, 2019 7:50:25 AM | 3

On the contrary: evidence shows us the military was the last resistance against the desintegration of the USSR. The thing here is that it didn't need to desintegrate to reform.

The main problem with the USSR is that it created a system where any reform could only be radical. It wasn't a question of "ideological rigidity": the Soviets knew their problems since at least the 1950s (and, even before that, when Lenin was still alive, after the Kronstadt tragedy, an event that triggered the NEP - the reforms which would, 58 years later, inspire the new Chinese socialist model).

DontBelieveEitherPropaganda , Feb 16, 2019 9:30:03 AM | link
One thing to add:
While Surkov writes that people in the west are losing faith in their politicians and now would be looking at Russia as a positive example of a political system:
The problem for the majority of people in the western country i live in (Germany) and IMHO for the most other so called western countrys is NOT that the demoocratic system itself would be the problem, but that this system has been corrupted by politicians, neoliberals, neocons, and anti democratic cancers like deep state elites and the like.
Here most people HATE e.g. the social democrats NOT because they are social democrats, but because the are now only social democrats by NAME ONLY.
The democratic system may be flawed, but it still is without any real alternative for the majority of non extremist people.
Scrapping that for toothless pseudo opposition like in Russia would not be in the interest for the majority of people.

This is IMHO a different story for every country. Russia IMHO needs to go its own way, and like Putin said himself, is not ready for a full democracy. It would lead directly back into the 90s, and the huge majority of Russians know that, and therefore vote for the much lesser "evil".
This may be hard to understand for a western person, but IMHO it is a sane and consious decision for the russians.

But again, every country is different. This is why the right for every people and country to develop in its own pace and values is to important, and why globalism is creating faliure for each and everyone exepct some rich SOBs.

Michael Droy , Feb 16, 2019 10:51:50 AM | link
The 'western' view of the Soviet war in Afghanistan, the "long-lost meaningless war", is that it was the catastrophic for the Soviet Union and led to its demise (pdf). That view is wrong. The war was neither meaningless, nor lost.

I think that is the "western" view that justifies throwing money at Nazis or terrorists in order to create problems for US enemies.
John Dowser , Feb 16, 2019 11:27:46 AM | link
@Ellis "I get stuck understanding what gathering lands might mean in this context"

It would seem to refer to the traditional move to expand the sphere to what is believed by some in Russia to be their "natural" dimensions: to add by various means including annexation all the Russian territories, East Slavic lands, Belarus and the Ukrainian regions

See also https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivan_III_of_Russia#Gathering_of_Rus%27_lands

In that light the Russian view of the conflict in Ukraine has to be understood: not just as reaction towards to expansion of EU and NATO but more as reaction against the EU/NATO's interference with Ukraine's direction of moving closer to the Russian sphere over time, seen as something inevitable unless countered with lots of effort, promises and energizing of radical movements or other nationalistic or young, pro-West groups.

In other words, some claims that the Kremlin desires to expand are not wholly unjustified. But as explained in the article some Russian leaders might see expansion as unavoidable and therefore deep down rational to pursue. One can counter this view with the remark that it's almost like some echo of the Soviet (and pseudo-Marxist) view of historical materialism. Ending at the time with transporting intellectuals who differed, to re-education camps as one concluded that something wrong "had to be wrong" with them, opposing the inevitable and rational! Search for the term "psycho-pathological mechanisms of dissent" to see how it might reflect some of the elite thinking in Russia still today!

Jackrabbit , Feb 16, 2019 11:47:39 AM | link
Surkov supports the 'Deep State' in Russia and elsewhere to the extent that he derides/undermines democratic process.

Surkov's viewpoint is aligned with that of the neocons. Neocons argue that democratic processes can not properly weigh matters that concern the 'Deep State'. Those that benefit from Deep State largess (MIC, intel agencies, oligarchs, and large corporations) naturally support that view.

The "Deep State" is ultimately class warfare. IMO the best that we can hope for (for now) is that 'Deep States' of the major powers will try to improve the lives of the ordinary people they govern as part of the State-to-State competition. A unilateral world order would have no such virtue. In such a world we would quickly feel the truth of: "We are all black, we are all Palestinian, we are all ... a plaything or a nuisance of the oligarchic in-group.

Hoarsewhisperer , Feb 16, 2019 12:14:10 PM | link Red Ryder , Feb 16, 2019 12:26:14 PM | link
There are a number of commenters here who, living up to their former ignorance on many topics, expose their lack of knowledge and understanding of things Russian.

Russia is a civilization. It's psyche is neither East nor West. It's vocabulary and syntax are not Western, either.

Surkov's work, even by ideologues of vast disparate differences is recognized as a political-literary work whose translation requires deft handling.
Think of de Tocqueville or some of Tom Paine.

And all Russian commenters at the highest level perceive exactly what his words and his construction means.

You might try reading Dmitri Orlov's translation. http://thesaker.is/putins-lasting-state-translated-by-dmitri-orlov/

You also, those of you who think you are more intelligent than Surkov, should want to read his article of last year. In that, he describes Russia's unique path forward. Use Yandex for a translation.

https://globalaffairs.ru/global-processes/Odinochestvo-polukrovki-14-19477

You will see the linkage from last year's article and this year's work. Surkov is a gifted "grey cardinal" whose intellect is valued by Putin.
When he speaks, and especially, when he writes, Sukov has the top echelon of Russia paying "deep attention".

If you fall for the word usage of Deep in this present work and equate it with our Western Deep State, you do not comprehend the Russian context.

Trailer Trash , Feb 16, 2019 12:38:36 PM | link
>The Deep State wants no competition, just obedience.
> Posted by: stonebird | Feb 16, 2019 8:33:39 AM | 10

This. This is the central organizing principle of Uncle Sam Land. Every interaction with the police and other state actors says: "Obey or Die". And they mean it, a thousand dead civilians a year. Every year.

Its not only black and brown people. I live in the whitest part of the whitest US state. It is rural, remote, and sparsely populated. White skin did not save my neighbor's brother who was gunned down in his own home. What really happened? Only the cops know, and they ain't sayin.

My conclusion is that the US police state is the inevitable result of imposing a top-down hierarchy on society. This is why skin color, clothes, education, religion, sex, income, etc. are so important: these characteristics and others are used to put everyone in their proper slot in the hierarchy, and to make sure everyone knows their place, and stays there.

Uncle Sam Land is a downwardly-mobile society. The fear of downward mobility keeps people passive, afraid, and easier to control. The lack of labor strife is a good example. After decades of failure, workers understand that most strikes and other job actions will end with less pay and worse working conditions.

The psychopathic scum at the top like it there and intend to stay, regardless of the cost to the peons, who only exist to serve the state. Therefore everyone is disposable. None of this is new, of course, but Bull-in-the-China-Shop Trump has done an excellent job of unintentionally shredding the facade of "freedom". It is now getting difficult even for establishment elites to ignore the nature of the machine they are dedicated to sustaining.

The Dear Leaders will not take a hint and step down, or work to create a more humane society where just being alive is good enough reason to get access to the Earth's bounty. Instead they will use even more violence to impose obedience. A near-monopoly on violence is what makes a nation-state, so violence is the only tactic it knows.

Can Russian really be a nation-state that is not based on hierarchy, violence and coercion? I'd like to think it could be possible, but I remain very, very skeptical.

Fiona Jenkins , Feb 16, 2019 1:01:10 PM | link
This is one of the few times I strongly disagree with (the brilliant political commentator) Moon of Alabama. A better perspective can be found here:

https://www.fort-russ.com/2019/02/its-time-for-super-putin-dugin-on-surkovs-putin-analysis/

And here is an excerpt:

I find that in the article of Surkov the main message is sincere and reflects the will of the current elites to self-preservation and to preserve the regime in an unchanged state and in the post-Putin period. So that Putin himself does not decide to change something by chance, he is reassured: everything is perfect. But sincerity does not mean truth. The solipsism of the ruling elite still cannot replace history and political logic. Therefore, Surkov's analysis of the state of the political regime in modern Russia is entirely and completely false in its very foundations.

Lohmann , Feb 16, 2019 1:10:09 PM | link Noirette , Feb 16, 2019 1:28:28 PM | link
Re. Surkov piece. http://thesaker.is/putins-lasting-state-translated-by-dmitri-orlov/

Any message that praises Russia and goes against demonising + slandering it is welcome to me. If it can prod some to re-think, I'm all for it.

The text is superficial, a straightforward 'bash others' and Laud the True Nation essay, close to school-boy-ish, grade 12.

The ability to hear and to understand the nation, to see all the way through it, through its entire depth, and to act accordingly -- that is the unique and most important virtue of Putin's government.

Is v. similar to the USA's mealy mouthed enshrining of demo-crassy, freee-dom and equality, etc. Putin may be doing a good job, is imho, but seeing into the entire depth etc. is hyperbole, .. OK, cultural standards differ.

It is adequate for the needs of the people, it follows the same course with it, and this means that it is not subject to destructive overloads from history's countercurrents. This makes it effective and long-lasting.

Many Kings Queens Despots Tyrants touted the same. Meaningless.

The various branches of government come together at the person of the leader and are considered valuable not in and of themselves but only to the extent to which they provide a connection with him. Aside from them, and acting around formal structures and elite groups, operate informal methods of communication.

Translation may be poor, styles of writing vary greatly in diff. cultures, etc. But what does it mean? Note the 'person of the leader'

Our state is not split up into deep and external; it is built as a whole, with all of its parts and its manifestations facing out.

Should be queried.

Missing is anything of substance, ex. method of Gvmt. of a large Federation (geographical, climate, cultural, variations..), which would be interesting to know about, put forward, for praise. E.g. health care, housing, transport, education - Relations with China, for ex.

Yes! I get it, that was not the point.

Puff Pieces don't address such practical matters.

Why is this article praised on MoA? One might write something very similar about Trump, Macron, Erdogan or Italy, etc.


vk , Feb 16, 2019 2:50:19 PM | link
I disagree with Surkov in the sense that, albeit it may have a political purpose for the specific historical time it was written, it doesn't have scientific value.

Modern Russia is a full-fledged capitalist country, therefore equally subject to the inner contradictions of the system. No, I don't think Russia is some kind of "third system". No, I don't think it is a stable society: it is full of inner contradictions. Yes, it has a different culture from the West. Yes, it is good Russia still exist. But let not kiss the cross: this Russia is not the future for humanity; unless it suddenly becomes socialist again, there's nothing there.

Jen , Feb 16, 2019 3:57:22 PM | link
The underlying message of Vladislav Surkov's essay is that the relationship between a leader and the nation he leads must be based on mutual trust, and that trust must be based on a system of governance that is transparent to all, and on foundations and values that a would-be leader must respect and with which s/he must align her/his own values and beliefs.

The foundations and values on which government relies and which the leader must always bear in mind (and heart as well) arise from the history or histories and the beliefs of the nation the leader governs.

The Chinese have a similar concept known as the Mandate of Heaven.

If the West ever had something similar to what Surkov is suggesting, it was embodied in the Social Contract.

The significant difference is that the West with its Roman Catholic / Protestant view of humans as having been born in sin and needing to be saved by belief in Jesus as their saviour (and the corollary that human nature essentially is incapable of moral and spiritual improvement, and can only be made perfect by being forced into the right spiritual path), has long been governed by a set of values that based on suspicion and mistrust of others. In a sense, much of European history (with its history of small states at constant war or rivalry against one another, which they later took beyond European bounds during the 15th century and after) and why it was so, compared to other parts of the world, might be explained as a result of societies based around a particular set of beliefs, values and view of the human condition.

The US Constitution with its checks and balances on the executive, legislative and judiciary functions of government reflects something of the view of humans as untrustworthy and essentially moral and spiritual infants, obsessed with their own immediate self-gratification and short-term interests. Much classical economics (with the belief in the free market and the idea that competing interests eventually reach a balance or equilibrium point) is based on this despairing view of humans; the neoliberal incarnation of classical economics exalts this view and portrays it as the ideal.

veritas semper vincit , Feb 16, 2019 9:38:37 PM | link
This was one of your best articles, and there's no short supply here. Thank you, Mr. B.
Russia is fulfilling old prophecies.
The country is an enormous mass land, between East and West, and because of this and its history, I believe it is the world 's balancer.
Russia has been to Hell and back and in the process managed to learn from past mistakes( and we have to remember that some of those mistakes, like the Bolshevik revolution, were financed by the west: Trotsky( Bronshtein) and his 2 Bil in today's money from Kuhn and Loeb Bank, Jacob Schiff, Lenin with millions in gold from Germany).
What did not kill Russia, made her stronger. Russia witnessed the "superior" US system, liberalism, during Yeltsin's era, not only communism. And Russia chose neither.
She chose Mr. Putin, a real patriot, who took Russia from her knees and elevated her to the role she has today: a superpower.
I don't think the Russians wanted this role, but they didn't have a choice. Somebody has to fight the psychopaths.
As for US, the coup d'erat was incremental: the cornerstone was in 1913, with the creation of the private Federal Reserve, with its 9 big banks shareholders,the root of all evil .Money created as debt( credit) and loaned to people with interest. Fractional reserve banking later. Everything else is bribes and blackmails.
Then 1963, the removal of the only semi independent president, who would have put a stop to their NWO.
1970's with replacement of Bretton Woods with the petro-dollar deal and the subsequent wars .
And 2001 as the grand finale: total control.
Now US has to protect the petro-dollar, the only think giving it relevance; This explains our wars, enemies, allies( like KSA).
Some say that US was a FreeMason construct from the very beginning. And looking at all Masonic signs: dollar bill, Statue of Liberty, apotheosis of Washington , Washington DC plans, most founding fathers, etc. they may be right.
Peter AU 1 , Feb 16, 2019 11:00:21 PM | link
psychohistorian "My thought is that Putin knows that the only way to limit the control of his internal oligarchs is to insure the fall of the private finance led Western system that they need to execute their perfidy."

I have watched a youtube video of Putin talking about the CIA victory parade in Moscow in the early nineties. I looked for this when I read Grieved's comment but could not find it. There was lot of anger - savagery perhaps a better word - in his voice.
When the US pulled out of the ABM treaty in, I think 2002, he initiated the research and development of deterrent that would bypass and make obsolete any US ABM system.
I think Putin will see out the US empire. Like the next gen weapons that were unveiled last year with the publication of Trump's Nuclear Posture Review, I believe Putin would have been working on the downfall of the US empire since the day he took office as president of the Russian federation.

Jackrabbit , Feb 16, 2019 11:30:35 PM | link
Jen, Grieved

The Mandate of Heaven is similar but IMO there are important differences.

1) Putinism is grounded in the people, not a heavenly authority.

2) It appears that Putinism has, or will have, specific mechanisms that are meant to keep the leader in tune with the people.

I wonder if the Orthodox church is part of that mechanism, given reporting by John Helmer:

PUTIN PROMOTES PATRIARCH'S PUTSCH


THE RUSSIAN COMMUNIST PARTY AND THE REVIVAL OF THE TSAR'S IDEOLOGY – ORTHODOXY, AUTOCRACY, NATIONALITY

3) Putinism is (by design?) transferable 0 it's being offered as a practical model that other countries can adopt / are adopting.

4) My sense is that Putinism transcends politics. There is a cultural aspect that rejects Western philosophy and theology.

The Western church has failed its moral mission. It was always compromised but now that "God is dead", Western political elites pay little heed to moral principle. Heartless neolibs and neocons meet with virtually no resistance as they comfort the comfortable and afflict the afflicted.

Coinciding with the moral decay, "checks and balances" have also failed. Western government debt has soared. Western political elites circumvent Constitutional rights and government oversight (by using cut-outs and foreign funding). Wealthy Westerners (the "people that matter") do not speak up - instead they keep tens of trillions "off-shore". And Western corporate presstitutes serve as a propaganda mouthpiece.

<> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <>

As many details are yet unknown, it's difficult to access how robust the "Deep Putin" model of politics and governance may be.

Russia's delineating their own independent path is somewhat good news for the West. It means that they will not be subservient to China. But Western neocon asshats might muck that up by probing every possible way of undermining Russia.

Repeating what I've said before: countries don't have friend's, the have interests -BUT- if a country hopes to rule the world, those interests must include some sort of morality. The West is reaping what it sowed. Will they take that to heart, or succumb to neocon asshats that always seek to double-down?

Peter AU 1 , Feb 16, 2019 11:58:59 PM | link
The American reality of today is the the polar opposite of what is known as the American Dream.

Putinism and the American Dream.
https://patrickarmstrong.ca/2018/06/20/yes-putin-once-dreamed-the-american-dream/

Putin began laying a solid foundation for a fair democracy in Russia shortly after coming to office.

Kalen , Feb 17, 2019 12:42:34 AM | link
Deep state exists in any state officially under any political system democracy and autocracy. As for Tsar letters from 1917 who confirmed that his was abandoned and power was taken over by security apparatus, the same was in 2014 in Ukraine that his personal security unit mutined while he, his family and two security guard we saved due to Russian help as they were evacuated from Donbass where rhetoric fled. Electoral theater makes no difference to deep state that continues until real and bloody revolution occurs, to create new deep state protecting ruling elite interests same in Russia, same in the US as Mills noticed over a century ago.

As they posited, when men want to rule without seeming to do so, .. because they cannot [openly] lay claim to the required legitimacy, they will rule invisibly and "benignly," shielding themselves behind the rhetoric of popular rule.

Although "authority [in the US supposedly] formally resides 'in the people,' . . . the power of initiation is in fact held by small circles of men."[In hands of behind the scenes ruling oligarchic elite]. This is not to be known. There is the risk that power becomes identified by its true colors. "That is why the standard strategy of manipulation is to make it appear that the people . . . 'really made the decision'" (ibid., 317).

This is the idea behind allowing people or as Lippmann described them "meddlesome spectators" to go through in fact meaningless voting ritual.

[In the US we have,] .. to use Sheldon Wolin's terminology, .. a "managed democracy," political form in which governments are legitimated by elections that they have learned to control," form of government that attempts to keep alive appearance of democracy while simultaneously defeating democracy's primary purpose, self-government.

As quoted above both, Tocqueville and Mills, identified hidden menacing power structure of fused state and private tyranny [also called Deep State] and its rules of control that are hidden, subtle unutterable, unspoken about, power that denies itself as power under guise of false free choice and propaganda of democratic participation.

The mere existence or if necessary exertion of this hidden power is the key ingredient in fragmenting population, producing masses of "sheeple" who lack capacity of self-understanding or even recognizing that they are being directly controlled both individually and collectively, that acquire their irrational/self-defeating behavior within a political realm.

Peter AU 1 , Feb 17, 2019 1:22:43 AM | link
Deep Russia.

Yeltsin had a lot of faults. He also appointed and sacked many prime ministers. He appointed Putin prime minister, then appointed Putin president to serve out the remainder of his own term. For all Yeltsin's faults, in appointing and sacking pm's, he was looking for somebody who could lead Russia.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZVitEiKkRZ8

I have watched this speech several times. Now I would have to term it Deep Russia.

Steve D Keith , Feb 17, 2019 2:41:26 AM | link
Back to the Future
George Orwell was born in Bihar, India. The name Bihar comes from the root word, Vihar, which means temple. An auspicious place. A place where we can understand the idea of time; the past, present and future as one. Mr Orwell certainly achieved this feat; perhaps destined to by virtue of the circumstances of his birth. He was, or at least his writings were, prophetic. He could see the reality of how the world was, because of how the people were and consequently he could see how the future would unravel, logically. He was not wrong then and he is not wrong in these darkened days in which we are dying.

In his masterpiece, 1984, he introduces us to a dystopian reality that has encompassed the globe; three fascistic power blocs of the northern hemisphere, Oceania, Eurasia and East Asia fighting each other for the resources of the southern hemisphere. London was the capital of Airstrip One, an offshore island and part of the superstate of Oceania (North America and the British Isles). She was at endless war with her neighbours, rivals and enemies in the battle for global domination, Eurasia (Europe and Russia) and East Asia (China and the states that border her today).

The debacle which has enveloped the United Kingdom and the European Union over the former's decision to withdraw from the latter's club, has created the opportunity for two thirds of this fiction to become real facts, eventually and inevitably forcing the hand of the Peoples Republic to realise a historical belief and vision, espoused many years before on the BBC's Dateline London programme by a Chinese TV journalist (London correspondent, probably), that if it looks Chinese, then it is Chinese. Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos would return to the bosom of the motherland, as Austria, the Sudatenland etc was annexed to the German fatherland.

All this because Russia and the Europeans would have come together, probably quite naturally, in response to Great Britain and Ireland having joined as the fifty first, second, third and fifty fourth states, of the United States. These four ancient nations will find no other way to resolve the #Brexit conundrum and they will see this as the only logical option - an English speaking block, based on common free trade ideals, that guarantees their sovereignty. It would appeal to each of the four nations, the English, Scots, Welsh and Irish, perhaps for different reasons but they would be accepting because their national ego's will be satisfied with this international recognition of each of their sovereign rights.

There is a certain historical inevitability about the whole thing. As a man who spent the formative years of his life in India, he will be aware of the darkness of the age in which we live, an age that the Hindus know as the age of Kali, Kal Yug. An age of darkness and destruction, of deviance and distrust. It is an age that has come before and that will come again, just as the golden ages have come and in time must pass again, back into history. Each has their time and their place. The creatures born in such an age must accept it and refuse to capitulate to it's mesmerising illusions. Of course they won't - it is all too mesmeric, the illusion too beautiful. The illusion of self, of nation, of country, of power, of right and of wrong. It is the illusion of the physical, of the material, of the possibilities of each, that will drive nations together into the power structures from which there will be no escape until the Armageddon, that is theoretically believed in by many of the participants, will arrive and the age will turn, again.

Montreal , Feb 17, 2019 4:03:32 AM | link
"Glubina" also means the Russian countryside (an analogy would be "la France profonde") - everywhere outside the cities is the "glubina" for which the people have a mystical attachment.

Western sanctions have been a great boon to Russian agriculture, as well cementing national solidarity. The new sanctions being contemplated in Washington will, if they are confirmed, act as a spur for Russia to quarantine itself against the next western financial collapse. My impression has always been that VVP greatly values stability and a reacts to attacks from the outside only reluctantly and after great thought as to where Russia's fundamental interests lie.

QuietRebel , Feb 17, 2019 4:18:22 AM | link
@james 37

Do you also agree with donkeytale's glibe comparison of the Putin go ernment to the Nazi Hitler regime and the Trump administration?

mourning dove , Feb 17, 2019 4:32:08 AM | link
I think that imperialism has invaded the Western psyche to such an extent that many people, particularly in the 5Eyes countries, seem to believe that their first impressions are of such weight and credibility that thoughtful consideration of a subject is unnecessary. This is apparent in so many of the comments here which come off as edicts or proclamations from on high and which treat alternative viewpoints with derision and contempt.

Conversely, many of the comments are thoughtful and well reasoned, open to other's views, but these are often drowned out. I can't be the only one who's noticed that someone here is using numerous identities in order to dominate the discussion, create consensus, and to "gang up" on people. It creates a microcosm of imperialism which, to me, speaks louder than any position or ethic that this keyboard emperor(ess) professes.

somebody , Feb 17, 2019 4:37:44 AM | link
Posted by: Pft | Feb 16, 2019 5:01:40 PM | 60

Yep. It is a joke.

somebody , Feb 17, 2019 4:54:50 AM | link
Add: This is John Helmers unsentimental summary on the recent attempt to find an "official" justification for power.

The issue is not political. It is the economic success of the Chinese model (which is very different from the Russian one, but Russia might get closer to it, than it is to Western neoliberalism).

And China is the present technological leader.

Jen , Feb 17, 2019 5:51:29 AM | link
Jack Rabbit @ 76:

In the doctrine of the Mandate of Heaven, the concept of Heaven encompasses the order of the natural world where the ruler governs the people, and is not merely concerned with humanity's relations with the spiritual world. If the natural world is beset by drought, famine or other natural disasters, that is a sign that the ruler is not caring for the people and the people have the right to overthrow that ruler.

The effects of drought, famine, flooding and some other natural disasters can be prevented, minimised or alleviated, sometimes to the extent that life can even carry on as if the disaster had not happened, so in the past emperors did have reason to fear prolonged or repeated disasters from one year to the next - because those disasters could very well be consequences of past inaction or past actions that were wrong or corrupt.

The concept doesn't advise or tell leaders how to stay in touch with the people; they presumably must figure this out for themselves to be effective leaders.

Spike , Feb 17, 2019 9:08:07 AM | link
"Globalization" would be the diminishing of the strength of the nation-states with the corresponding increase in the strength of the trading entities, the corporations. That's easy to reject!

But when the nation-states fade away because the traders have faded away and there's no longer any need to control and regulate them, then you have the dreamed about condition.

One can formulate any philosophy of government one wants, but it is certainly better that one not see trade as being natural and eternal.

Piotr Berman , Feb 17, 2019 9:14:50 AM | link
Understanding of Russia perplexed Westerners of centuries (Chinese did not seem to care too much). Genuine curiosity can be detected in news sections not related to politics, as it can be witnessed by an article in Forbes, Food and Drink section. Title and a quote:

Want To Find A Rich Person In Russia? Look For The Lemons
Lizzy Saxe Contributor, "I write about the future of food, business, and culture." Food & Drink

Quote: Harold noticed that "Russians consume a lot more lemons per capita than many other parts of the world. I was wondering, is that because they drink a lot of vodka? Is it because they're big tea drinkers? Why are they using so many lemons?" He started to investigate. He discovered that the answer wasn't quite that universal.

Unsurprisingly, lemons don't grow in Russia. It's too cold to produce them, so you have to buy them from far, far away. That makes the sour yellow citrus expensive. So expensive, in fact, that, "wealthy Russians really like to incorporate lemons into their lifestyle. It communicates to people that they have the means to be able to afford them. They call it the bling of produce."

====

Someone sold simple-minded Lizzy a tall story, and Russians and Russophiles have a hilarious stream of twits today. For a journalist in a business publication that should know a thing or two about marketing, the fact that a product has high per capita consumption should suggest that it is not restricted to the rich, unless the country in question has reversed income pyramid, enormous percentage of status seeking rich folks. In fact, since long time, tea drinking was popular in Russia, perhaps because their Siberian holdings required them to sell furs, Chinese mandarins like to have fur hats and fur trimmed robes, and China had to offer products to pay for those furs, and that was tea. Russians got hooked on tea -- as were the Mongols, Tibetans, all nations of Central Asia, iran etc. Tea that trades well at long distances was black and bitter. However, even a relatively small amount of vitamin C reduces bitterness a lot as it reacts with tea tannins (the same holds for another bitter drink, mate, but coffee bitterness is not caused by tannins, so adding lemon to coffee was never popular). The result was that even peasant families would possess samovars for making hot water for tea and brew tea in a hot spot at the samovar top, and would add thin slices of lemons to tea.

As a product needed for the welfare of the working class, lemon supplies were one of Communist priorities, I kid you not. In my youth in Communist Poland, a kilo of bananas and oranges would cost 40, while a kilo of lemons mere 30. The communist blocks produced some lemons, and was getting the rest from barter agreements with India, Brazil etc. In the stores, bananas and oranges could appear and disappear, but lemons were always there.

Of course, a household where lemons are always present would find some other uses. For example, borsch is an ubiquitous dish and it is based on beets that should be fermented for several days to create a sour taste, but in an urban household, beets were sliced, a lemon was squeezed and a borsch would be cooked right away. Fish would always be garnished with lemon etc. In other words, every urban household would use lemons every day, and those slices could add up (I am not sure about villages, there are also forest berries with vitamin C and sour taste, and villagers would collect a lot of them).

As posted on Twitter, the current store price of lemons in Russia is 1 dollar per kilogram, apparently the authorities keep lemon prices low, a tradition inherited from the Communist predecessors. Allegedly, this is the same as average lemon price in the international trade, but (a) Russia has long standing import tradition with low cost producers like India (b) the markup on lemons is low.

That said, it is quite possible that the Russian rich display lemons on their table, but the reasons are not as Harold surmised. In eastern and central Europe there is a strong conviction that the traditional food is healthy, good for soul and body. When my family visited Poland (we lived in USA), it was striking that tourist dominated town sections would have lots of foreign cousines, while the business section would have predominantly traditional food, stuff that "every" household would cook at home.

Noirette , Feb 17, 2019 9:17:57 AM | link
Sasha posted, 50:

..for Surkov unveiling all the Russian policy, internal and external, and that is too much asking

Yes, but I couldn't read beyond it (= between the lines, underneath, etc.), as you say:

Being his personal style of writing most of the time kind of confusing and always sounding like including hided and double meanings/senses

Maybe some stuff went over my head. I failed to grasp a deeper / more intruiging, vital, novel meaning or message.

Jen 54 points out that Good-Gvmt. is based on Trust, sure, like satisfactory business dealings, happy families and solid marriages .. not flash news.

The Saker is potty about Putin and will post anything that idolises the Great Leader (say.)

I'm a 'fan', of Putin and Lavrov myself, and have nothing against Surkov, but going overboard on personalia vs. pol / economic systems, resources, geography etc. is a distraction.

If framed properly it is OK: Who is the nicer person, Ocasio-Cortez or Gabbard? Would Megan M. be a better Queen than Kate M.? Etc.

donkeytale , Feb 17, 2019 10:03:38 AM | link
@james 37

Do you also agree with donkeytale's glibe comparison of the Putin go ernment to the Nazi Hitler regime and the Trump administration?

Posted by: QuietRebel | Feb 17, 2019 4:18:22 AM | 83

Of course he doesn't agree with that "glib comparison."

Neither do I.

What I introduced was a simile to illustrate my implication that Surkov is hardly an objective observer of the Russian political system and thus not creditable in this instance.

But nice bit of of setting a trap for James to keep him captured within community standards of subjectivity. Lol

Also, y'know, if you have any issues with my comment you could, y'know, raise them with me directly.

I will state that Trump would of course enjoy the comparison with Putin, since he is on record as an admirer, would also love to jail his political opponents at election time (as Putin does), clearly enjoys using his political power to enrich himself (as Putin also does), and surely would love to find a way to circumvent term limits to remain President for life (as Putin does). This last may be necessary to keep himself, his family and flunkies out of prison.

In other notes, LMAO at all the high falutin rhetorical flights of fancy in this thread extolling the Godlike virtues of the Russian people and Putin, the Chinese "Mandate of Heaven" etc.

This is doubtlessly inspired by Surkov's own flight of fancy in his essay. Yes, the Russian people are to be commended for their centuries of struggle to overcome their historically sad socioeconomic plight and of course for defeating the Nazis (don't know how much credit I can give the Russian people for defeating Napoleon---that one seemed much more like a win for the czarist forces of oppression as opposed to liberation of the masses).

Putin is a great leader and statesman, easily the most accomplished on the world scene today. The problem lies not with him necessarily. The problem is with Surkov's fantasy as it infects the usual suspects in this thread, who should know well but will never admit (because their goal is to rhetorically reinforce a prevailing blog narrative rather than strive to attain the synthesis of truth--that is, the honest intellectual pursuit of knowledge through debate, point and counterpoint) that one man can never successfully embody the political system and the political system cannot adequately reflect the greatness of one man --- for more than the life of that one man --- because that one man is not a god and will eventually wither away and die.

Thus the system he embodies and animates with his greatness cannot be replicated indefinitely after he goes, if it can be sustained even with his immediate successor.

This is a lesson obtained from history, religious texts, legends, mythology. Man is weak, evil, greedy, all the seven sins. Someone mentioned the US Constitution was formulated as a defense mechanism against agains the perfidy of man and of course it was! Lol. Imperfect as it is look we can fight off Trump much better than the Russians will be able to fight off a future Trumpkov.

The Chinese could not reach their present level of capitalist/imperialist success until Mao was long gone, his cult of personality repudiated and replaced by a "communist" party from which succession is dependent more on bureaucrats than charismatic leaders.

Hatred of the Evil Empire doesn't automatically confer righteousness to its opponents no matter how flowery the oratory supporting such contention.

Especially when the so-called opponents aren't even truly ideological opponents but in fact erely represent differing spheres of influence and trading blocs, at worst.

Mike , Feb 17, 2019 11:33:10 AM | link
donkeytale | Feb 17, 2019 10:03:38 AM | 91

That's an awfully long way of just saying that Russia after Putin is very unlikely to be an improvement along commonly accepted metrics over Russia with Putin, or that whatever Putin has changed will guarantee a modicum of continuity past the next, say, two Russian leaders. Same type of thing for China, but for both you seem to amplify the effects of the few pro-Russia/pro-China posts into more than they are, including a narrative that you attribute to the owner of the blog (b)? And I don't see anyone making the argument that "hatred" of the "Evil Empire" automatically confers righteousness to the adversary(ies) other than perhaps that, given the history, it's nice to see there might actually be some adversaries who may not simply fold and fall in line. They still may, but unlikely.

I kinda wish someone would have talked about - or at least explicitly - the fact that all the praise being heaped on Putin is still just praise for a man and his accomplishments, which to my knowledge don't involve concrete changes to the Russian constitution (or equivalent - not much of a Russia scholar myself) that might serve to "guarantee" (insofar as it's ever possible) that future leaders in his position are constrained or empowered in such a fashion that they are most likely to govern in Putin-esque terms.

I dunno, maybe I should read the essay linked by b, but I can't muster much interest in reading propaganda no matter where it's coming from. To me it's sufficient to know that even if they're just different spheres of influence or competing trading blocs, it's nice that the world isn't necessarily doomed to unipolar US/UK dominance - again, given their sordid history, including the very recent. AND I think it's good that the other side is being presented in such a manner as to reach at least a small western audience given the way the corporate MSM has openly censored any such prose and banned any such thought.

I also happen to think that presenting the other side humanizes the Russians and even Putin and provides a bit of understanding into how they view themselves, all of which and all of the above being helpful in synthesizing a worldview on those matters as well as choosing an appropriate lens through which to view the one-sided, hysterical, often evidence-free, accusations of election tampering, utility grid hacking, and the supposed desire to see "western democracy" toppled, as you might expect to see from someone on NBC or from craigsummers.

QuietRebel , Feb 17, 2019 11:55:52 AM | link
@donkeytale
You blame me for misinterpting you comment, but you are the one who added the Nazi and Trump tropes. If you just wanted to make a point about propaganda you you have just posted the first part of your comment,but you went on. Putin is often seriously compared to Hitler,and you expect me to be able to read your mind when you make a comparison of Putin to Hitler. I stand by my original comment.
donkeytale , Feb 17, 2019 12:02:48 PM | link
Mike, I'm nothing if not longwinded....lol.

I also tend to add layers of digressions which lengthen my statements but don't help me necessarily because it gives more ammo to attack me on one of those instead of my main point.

I don't disagree with anything you say here. Also, as often happens after I post I notice Noirette has also posted a more concise, better made point right above mine.

Noirette rocks.

The Surkov essay is well worth reading, IMHO and shouldn't be dismissed because it's propaganda. It reads more liek self-justification to me but it has blatant logical/historical issues as Noirette points out.

As for the comments by others who drive in automatic extoll the virtues mode all the time, perhaps it is just a figment of my overheated imagination.

Montreal , Feb 17, 2019 12:09:23 PM | link
@93. "Putin enjoys using his political power to enrich himself." Now, you may be right, or you may be wrong, but I am damned if I know how you know. Over the years, the number of times I have been told that Putin secretly owns MTS, Surgutneft, etc etc, that his money is looked after in Zurich (and someone knows his fund managers!). The point being of course is to brand him as a greedy self-serving bandit like all the rest.

I would very much doubt that he keeps wealth outside Russia. Given the theme of this discussion, this is an important distinction. The Panama Papers showed, for example, that Poroshenko has stashed obscene sums of money, presumably looted from Ukraine, in the Caribbean (as have thousands of Russians), so when the time for looting is over, they can go and live the life of rich men in the West.

Putin lives and dies with Russia - there will be no comfortable retirement for him in Switzerland, assuming that he wanted it, which I am sure he doesn't. The Russians know this.

Constantine , Feb 17, 2019 12:15:26 PM | link
I would heartily recommend Dugin's respond to Surkov's essay. Whatever views one holds for Dugin's various works, this is a very somber analysis.

https://www.fort-russ.com/2019/02/its-time-for-super-putin-dugin-on-surkovs-putin-analysis/

donkeytale , Feb 17, 2019 12:16:41 PM | link
QR,

No worries, I'm not blaming you at all, and I'm not asking you to retract or anything. I disagree with you that I was making a glib comparison. In quickly searching for similes I came up with those 2, mainly because I thought they were funny.

Of course, Russia today doesn't compare with Nazi Germany. I apologise if I offended you even though a comparison was not my intent. In my way of seeing the blogosphere, it is always on the writer when the reader miscomprehends. I sought to clarify not blame you.

Quite frankly, the US, China and Russian systems all have much more in common than any of them do with Nazi Germany.

David , Feb 17, 2019 12:18:14 PM | link
It's important to note that the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan was not an invasion. The legitimate Afghan government requested Soviet military intervention, and the Soviets actually hesitated to send military assistance.

From this phone conversation between Taraki (President of Afghanistan) and Kosygin (Soviet Premier), Taraki says:

We ask you that you extend practical and technical assistance, involving people and arms.

In the phone conversation, Taraki begs for military aid from the Soviet Union, but is greeted with hesitation since "It is a very complex matter", as Kosygin put it.

Russia's cause in Afghanistan and Syria are the same -- fighting terrorism -- but only the former is dubbed an "invasion" when it was a perfectly legal police action (unlike the Yankee aggression against Vietnam) under international law.

juliania , Feb 17, 2019 12:28:47 PM | link
Grieved @67 and 68

I agree with your understandings but would take them further:

1)"...that inherent genius of Putin to identify with the ordinary people..."

Here I would expand the term to include all the people, the elites as well as the ordinary (supposing that to mean less well-off). It is important to remember that Putin did offer the wealthy a choice - either to leave or be prosecuted, or to use their wealth in service to the nation. Surov doesn't just mean 'deep nation' to be the earthy folk - he wants every stratum included, and that is what makes it such an all-encompassing enigmatic force. It would include Putin's political opposition as well as the old vestiges of the communist state. All of these are being given the opportunity to contribute, just as all ethnic communities do. And each will be at one point or another asked to sacrifice - as for instance seniors with respect to their pensions - when the need arises. The difference here is that they are not being 'told' this is what is going to happen, like it or lump it - they are given detailed explanations and apologies that this needs to happen for the short term to enable the long term to happen - how different this from what goes on in the US when it comes to state policy![to be continued]

Jackrabbit , Feb 17, 2019 12:29:38 PM | link
Jen

In MoH doctrine the people are an agent of Heaven. Surkov's Deep Putin(tm)/Putinism is an agent of the People. That's why I write @ "Les gens, c'est moi").

MoH Dynastic change includes war/foreign intrigue. That is dangerous in today's world. Under MoH, for example, a Color Revolution stoked by foreign interests becomes a divine manifestation.

Immediate context: It seems to me that there is still much resistance to the turn away from the West, despite it's being forced upon Russia. Many Russian elites could benefit greatly by a reversal. These elites form a competing 'Deep State'.

Piotr Berman , Feb 17, 2019 1:10:20 PM | link
"This unique Russian system makes it superior:

The contemporary model of the Russian state starts with trust and relies on trust. This is its main distinction from the Western model, which cultivates mistrust and criticism. And this is the source of its power."

This is propagandist picture, the reality is less bright for sure, but not THAT bleak. As we are all to well aware, trust is something that can be earn or inculcated by other means. However, it a government wants to be trusted, it helps to focus on what people want.

For example, after the oil prices declined from 90-100 range to 40-ties with subsequent oscillation -- now ca. 55 (Brent and Urals ca. 65), Putin responded with almost terrifying decisiveness. Rubble depreciated by factor 2 or more, in line with oil. Imports were slashed correspondingly. Positive balance of trade was maintained. A huge chunk of foreign reserves was pulled back and Russian debt was sharply reduced. Real incomes were allowed to drop, to meagerly rise afterwards. HOWEVER, as a commentator noted very briefly, the employment did not drop, and thus the number of people severely affected was small. There was a drop in construction, but a rise in agriculture and to lesser extend, manufacturing. Russia engaged in "import substitution". Russian lost growth of incomes but preserved stability, and the majority preferred it that way: oil crisis in an oil country must foster an economic crisis, so the choice was for some minority to loose a lot or everybody loosing a little.

These choices perplexed observers in Western media. Just because it is popular, Russia decreased free trade, competition and "mobility of labour" that The Economist tirelessly advocates. And forget about "free financial markets". But what about "necessary painful reforms"?

Actually, being a budget freak, Putin does have painful stuff on the agenda. Russia amassed reserves during "fat years", but with oil contributing much less to the budget, some taxes have to go up and some benefits have to go down. Road tolls were introduced and truckers rebelled. Retirement age was increased and the popularity of Putin dropped. However, in each case the government modulated the "reforms" with concessions, and of course, it keeps making the case why the reforms are needed, so truckers are still trucking, and the retirement reforms were not entirely abandoned. The popularity is still quite healthy, if not in the stratosphere.

In other words, Putin's government is very cautious and strategic about "necessary painful" stuff that Western politicians dish quite freely. What insanity overtook them to keep pushing for "ever more free trade"? Or foreign interventions -- where are the crowds of Britons of France being jubilant that a few countries got destroyed and refugees are flooding in, documenting the superiority of the economic/political system, voting with their legs?

But what about Putin's own interventions? Again, we can see strategic and careful approach. In the case of Crimea, ca. 80% are glad that it was absorbed by Russia, and in Crimea itself the percentage may be higher. In the case of Syria, Russia made a huge effort to keep costs down, both in treasure and blood, and effects up, Syrians being trained to do the bulk of heavy lifting, and ACTUALLY doing that -- unlike hapless Afghan army etc.

Lastly, the deep state. In Russian there is a newish word "siloviki" = "people of strength/power", and they are definitely a material phenomenon rather than a myth. The main difference is that in the West, the smart people work for financial services, or big pharma etc., and intellectually, the "deep state" is very, very mediocre, the casting of The Ministry of Silly Walks.

Jackrabbit , Feb 17, 2019 1:27:24 PM | link
Putinism sounds a lot like Erdogan's MB-infused nationalism. Erdogan propagandists/apologists conflate the people's interests and Erdogan's policies/actions to the point that they are essentially the same. Erdogan thus embodies the people and critics are perceived as traitors.

Kurov hints at an institutional mechanism(s) that:

1) ensures Putinism remains connected to the people/people's interests, and

2) is able to be adoptable by other countries.


Looking forward to details of this mechanism that might elevate Kurov's Deep Putin(tm) from propaganda to political model.
Piotr Berman , Feb 17, 2019 3:29:35 PM | link
Piotr Berman @107

So you're saying that Putinism is a philosophical approach to governance that doesn't have (or has no need for) institutional mechanism(s) for correctness and longevity? Jackrabbit | Feb 17, 2019 1:42:39 PM

I am not a great believer in "philosophical approaches". More precisely, you can design a mechanism that will surely work badly, but you cannot assure good outcomes with a "mechanism". US constitution is pretty good, but if the Congress members, President etc. choose to be beholden to special interests and the population tolerates it, then hard to see how it could be improved with, say, proportional representation, ban on moving from key political and administrative position to lucrative posts in private sector etc.

=============

Someone compared Putin to Erdogan. One big difference is that Putin is very careful, plans long term and gets approval from a decisive majority, using "dirty tricks" like actually paying attention to what people want. Erdogan gets 50% of popular support and when in doubt, increases repressions, censorship etc. If you compare with Turkey, China, etc., the hand of the state in Russia is pretty light, opposition minded people may have newspapers, websites, if demonstrations are "illegal" the demonstrators are released quickly etc. If you are a policeman or a prison guard in Russia who killed a person, the chances of getting seriously sentenced are much higher than in USA where those professions enjoy considerable impunity -- which is used.

brian , Feb 17, 2019 3:46:11 PM | link
'Why Russia no longer regrets its invasion of Afghanistan'

FYI russia nver 'invaded' afghanistan! it was asked to help by the legit govt in Kabul

james , Feb 17, 2019 4:24:34 PM | link Blooming Barricade , Feb 17, 2019 4:26:54 PM | link
It's a shame that they "apologised" to begin with. They were wrong to have ever done so. The recent dialogue over this war by the US media laughing at Trump and telling him off for calling the Mujahideen terrorists (which they were) as opposed to "freedom fighters" has amazingly been phrased as "Trump's comments aren't in line with what the US believed at the time," as opposed to citing actual opinion, ie the US's opinion is "reality" on every given event regardless of the facts. By far the worst part of this is that I don't even think that the individual journos are purposefully propagandising the public, they actually believe that the US tells the truth. Similarly, the New York Times intelligence editors wrote that they learn the most from the official DNI presentation meetings. Aren't reporters supposed to go beyond what the government tells them? Sad, so sad....
Grieved , Feb 17, 2019 5:51:12 PM | link
Not only were the Russians invited - even beseeched - into Afghanistan, the locals still remember them with great fondness and respect. Andre Vltchek took a drive through that country in 2017 and reported that very fact:

Andre Vltchek: On the road in Afghanistan - Lies, legends and myths

karlof1 , Feb 17, 2019 7:03:33 PM | link
Grieved @126--

Yes, the last chapter in the Anti-Communist Crusade consists of the massive Big Lie about the USSR and Afghanistan--many within the Outlaw US Empire think Rambo-3 was based on fact, particularly the Soviet Sadism. The Truth is almost the exact opposite of the West's propaganda as was even clear at the time for those of us who relied on different print sources and already knew not to believe the false narrative generated by the Crusade.

hopehely , Feb 17, 2019 8:31:02 PM | link
Posted by: vk | Feb 17, 2019 5:34:14 PM | 124
Even Russian banks still bow the Americans:
Russia's Gazprombank freezes accounts of Venezuela's PDVSA: source

PDVSA denies it.

donkeytale , Feb 17, 2019 9:10:39 PM | link
vk, james, pft, et al

One would have to be incredibly naive on the order of say a 3 year old or maybe Forrest Gump to believe Putin isn't a very wealthy man who will never want for anything as long as he has billionaire cronies indebted to him politically in one way or the other.

Of course, some people must cling to their illusions, er I mean their idealism, of others no matter what. Dog knows why.

Thomas Piketty :

More generally, the Soviet disaster led to the abandon of any ambition of redistribution. Since 2001, income tax is 13%, whether your income be 1,000 roubles or 100 billion roubles. Even Reagan and Trump have not gone as far in the destruction of progressive taxation. There is no tax on inheritance in Russia, nor in the People's Republic of China. If you want to pass on your fortune in peace in Asia, it is better to die in the ex-Communist countries and definitely not in the capitalist countries such as Taiwan, South Korea or Japan where the tax rate on inheritance on the highest estates has just risen from 50% to 55%.

But while China has succeeded in conserving a degree of control on capital outflows and private accumulation, the characteristic of Putin's Russia is an unbounded drift into kleptocracy. Between 1993 and 2018, Russia had massive trade surpluses: approximately 10% of GDP per annum on average for 25 years, or a total in the rage of 250% of GDP (two and a half years of national production). In principle that should have enabled the accumulation of the equivalent in financial reserves. This is almost the size of the sovereign public fund accumulated by Norway under the watchful gaze of the voters. The official Russian reserves are ten times lower – barely 25% of GDP.

Where has the money gone? According to our estimates, the offshore assets alone held by wealthy Russians exceed one year of GDP, or the equivalent of the entirety of the official financial assets held by Russian households. In other words, the natural wealth of the country, (which, let it be said in passing, would have done better to remain in the ground to limit global warming) has been massively exported abroad to sustain opaque structures enabling a minority to hold huge Russian and international financial assets. These rich Russians live between London, Monaco and Moscow: some have never left Russia and control their country via offshore entities. Numerous intermediaries and Western firms have also recouped large crumbs on the way and continue to do so today in sport and the media (sometimes this is referred to as philanthropy). The extent of the misappropriation of funds has no equal in history.


evilempire , Feb 17, 2019 10:03:14 PM | link
It might be that russia has invested its surplus into massive internal
investment, like the military with projects such as the technopolis and
rebuilding its industrial base and technical expertise. I've read that
russia was acutely consciousness of the demonic game empire was playing
and maybe that accounts for the concentration on the military. Russia is again
a military superpower and that requires enormous expenditure and investment. For
the well-nigh impossible task of simultaneously being a servant of the people
and a servant of the supreme being, putin seems to be doing as admirable a job
as any human being is capable. He is certainly supremely intelligent, maybe a
political genius, and a decent person, but as the article points out he is
just the tip of the iceberg of the deep russian culture and spirit, honed by
centuries of suffering. Didn't dostoevsky say that suffering was the beginning of
consciousness? This is where russia has the decadent west beaten, because obscene
wealth corrupts obscenely. Italy also seems to have found decent leadership.
Grieved , Feb 17, 2019 10:16:17 PM | link
There's a great clip at Vesti News right now, with Karen Shakhnazarov on Vladimir Soloviev's show. It's 12 minutes but I highly recommend it. He talks around the 6 minute mark about how Russia has not developed an economic model, and needs to get one. The US has one, China has one, Russia needs one.

This evolves into the concept that a nation has to have an IDEA of what it's doing and where it's going, something that it believes in. Soloviev joins in at the end with some excellent commentary too.

Russia is looking for its way forward, and the debate is open and intense throughout the country.

The clip also has the usual matter-of-fact, clear-eyed perspective on the US - hence the title of the clip by the headline-lovin' gang at Vesti - but in the end it's about the crucial survival value of meaning in a nation's life, with lives being lived meaningfully, from the soul.

Top Russian Expert: American Elites Too Busy Swindling Their Own People to Fight Russo-Sino Alliance

evilempire , Feb 18, 2019 12:41:36 AM | link
There is an article over at russia insider that debunks the picketty report;
https://russia-insider.com/en/business/west-attacks-russia-pickettys-
overblown-claims-abour-oligarch-wealth/ri24927
pogohere , Feb 18, 2019 1:34:24 AM | link
somebody @86

A very useful interview of John Helmer, an Australian journalist who began reporting from Russia in 1989.

2-14-19

John Helmer and a special, Gorilla Radio double-yolker, getting to know too much about Russia.

~52 min

As the first cracks of the Soviet Empire's eroding iron facade opened, Australian-born author, political essayist, professor of political science, and policy advisor to presidents and prime ministers, John Helmer headed for Moscow, determined to establish what was to become the longest continuously operating foreign press bureau in the capital.

From his position as an independent of single-national, or commercial sponsorship reporter, he ventured into the country's unpredictable, and often precarious economic transition period; a time that would see coup attempts, the undoing of international political superstar, Mikhail Gorbachev, and fall of Russia's communist system itself. It would too usher in the tempestuous Age of the Oligarchs.

Some of John Helmer's book titles include: 'The Deadly Simple Mechanics of Society', 'Drugs and Minority Oppression', (with Claudia Wright) 'The Jackal's Wedding – American Power, Arab Revolt', 'Grand Strategy for Small Countries, Case Studies in Transforming Weakness into Power,' (and with Ajay Goyal) 'Uncovering Russia'. His latest book is the newly out political and personal memoir, 'The Man Who Knows Too Much About Russia'.


pogohere , Feb 18, 2019 1:34:24 AM | link pogohere , Feb 18, 2019 2:04:52 AM | link
evilempire @ 141

Awara link to RI article

THE CASE AGAINST THOMAS PIKETTY. LIES, DAMNED LIES, AND STATISTICS. THE TRUE LEVEL OF INCOME AND WEALTH INEQUALITY IN RUSSIA.

evilempire , Feb 18, 2019 4:06:20 AM | link
For the real scoop on russia read Andrei Martyanov
at his Reminiscence of the Future blog:

https://smoothiex12.blogspot.com

Peter AU 1 , Feb 18, 2019 5:02:41 AM | link
The "Deep Nation of Russia". An apt title.
Earlier in the thread I put up a link to Yeltsin's speech. Putin when asked in interviews about some of the things that happened in the 90's is exceptionally angry, yet when asked of his views on Gorbachev and Yeltsin, he says that everybody knew Russia, or the Soviet Union at that time, had to change, but nobody knew how.
Russia like China cannot be looked at in the same perspective as so called western nations, who's politics and outlook derives from westminster.
China is east. Russia is where east meets west.
vk , Feb 18, 2019 7:28:37 AM | link
PDVSA has just denied the Reuters story:

Pdvsa desmiente falsa noticia sobre bloqueo de banco ruso

But I think my point in general stands: Russia is still vulnerable to American sanctions in the financial sector. Otherwise, it wouldn't be working on another system and buying gold.

[Feb 18, 2019] https://berlinspectator.com/2019/02/11/germans-fear-america-more-than-russia/

Feb 18, 2019 | berlinspectator.com


approximately 2/3 of Japanese, South Koreans and Mexicans feared the US, and in Germany 49% fear US and only 30% fear Russia.

But RT weighed in with the news that 85% of Germans saw US-German relations as negative or very negative, and an astounding 2% saw Russia as a problem.

There has been a long standing meme represented by the words 'the ugly American'. This was the dollars flush barbarian going off to far off lands and demonstrating a startling lack of diplomatic culture and proper upbringing. But even so, if we say fly mentally back to early nineteen sixties, the admiration for America was still very strong, even in the USSR. When Jackie Kennedy visited India for example, it was like a hugely noted and positive event.

Now, after decades of foreign wars of aggression - the greatest crime - direct and by proxy, all camouflaged by lies, the 'war' turns on America itself, with tens of thousands of swat team raids, excelling in killing the family dog, and some of the streets of San Francisco looking like ghoulish zombie land, among the many symptoms of extreme and perhaps terminal dysfunction.

Who would want that? Countries around the planet are definitely in the alternative approach mode.

There are so many aspects to the cultural divide between Russia and say the US. Note that Russia has encouraged organic agriculture - good for people and environment - banned GMOs.
And Russia's protective standards on Electromagnetic exposures, last I checked, were far more protective than that prevailing in US (and Canada for that matter).

Posted by: Robert Snefjella | Feb 16, 2019 1:34:44 PM | 38